Targeting Demographic Groups Pays Off

Younger people are mostly focused on matches, while older folks concentrate on distribution options.

Age-specific strategies to reach retirement plan participants, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, is the most effective method for plan sponsors to help participants become retirement ready, OneAmerica found through a five-month analysis of 10,500 visitors to its participant website.

Between September 2015 and January 2016, 29% of people between the ages of 18 and 34 visited the OneAmerica participant website, as did 25% of those between the ages of 35 and 49, and 36% of those 50 and older. Twenty-three percent of those younger than 35 think about retirement every week, compared to 27% of those ages 25 to 49 and 45% of those 50 and older.

Forty-eight percent of those 50 and older monitor their retirement plan at least once a month, followed by 44% of those younger than 35 and 40% of those ages 35 to 49. Fifty-five percent of those 50 and older say it is very important to track their retirement plan status, compared to 49% of those in the 35 to 49 age bracket and 47% of those younger than 35. Participants 50 and older are most interested in retirement plan investment and distribution options, while those younger than 35 concentrate mostly on employer matches.

“To reach employees, plan sponsors and financial professionals should create targeted communication strategies that factor in age demographics,” says Marsha Whitehead, vice president of marketing for retirement services for the companies of OneAmerica. “Segmenting employee populations by age could be an effective way to provide more personalized and effective messaging, because respondents show variations in retirement planning triggers, potential roadblocks and preferred communications by age.”