Targeted Communications Could Help Achieve Plan Results

Mercer said its recent effort with Synapses Inc., a provider of personalized 401(k) education, products, and services, indicates using targeted employee communications can achieve better plan results.
The program targeted a specific segment of one Mercer client’s employee population that was not contributing enough to receive the full company match (see “Zooming In”). Synapses provided targeted employees with a “personalized retirement report” leveraging key employee data points, and demonstrating a given employee’s potential retirement plan account balance at age 65, based on several hypothetical assumptions including taking the desired action of maximizing the employer-sponsored match.

“Just over 17% of targeted employees increased their contribution rate to better take advantage of their company match, which exceeded our client’s goals for the program,” noted Dave Tolve, retirement business leader for Mercer’s U.S. outsourcing business. According to Mercer, the plan’s result is much higher than the less than 2% of active, contributing participants in all Mercer-administered retirement plans that typically increase their contribution rate each month.

“We have seen a growing interest among plan sponsors to understand employee demographics in order to identify specific populations and then more fully engage each group in a meaningful way,” said Tolve. “We have found that, across our defined contribution client base, personalized campaigns, such as the recent experience with Synapses, generate higher success rates—with often twice as many participants taking the desired action versus non-personalized campaigns.”