NAGDCA champions National Retirement Security Week 2018 with Retirement Garden, video series addressing retirement savings considerations by career stage

New video series augments NAGDCA’s “Your Whole Story” communications campaign to support employee participation in employer-sponsored retirement plans

LEXINGTON, Ky., Sept. 27, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The National Association of Governmental Defined Contribution Administrators (NAGDCA) today announced the availability of the Retirement Garden Edition, a new video series addressing retirement savings considerations according to early, mid- and late career.

Early Career likens saving for retirement to planting a garden to emphasize the benefits of starting to save for retirement with an individual’s first job (compounding). Mid-Career focuses on the benefits to be gained from monitoring and adjusting portfolios, minimally increasing savings (annual-increase additive), and building an emergency fund to prevent the need for withdrawing funds from a retirement savings plan. Late Career reviews how to harvest retirement savings (withdrawal strategies) and, if needed, how to catch up on savings with a little Miracle Grow (IRS catch-up provisions). The Retirement Garden Edition is available on NAGDCA’s “Your Whole Story” site and on YouTube.

NAGDCA facilitated the original legislation creating National Retirement Security Week (NRSW) and provides “Your Whole Story,” a free, ready-to-use, proven “behaviorally effective” communications program plan sponsors can use with their employees, and employees can share with family and friends.

Recent data reveals that Americans are woefully unprepared for retirement. Nearly half approaching age 65 have less than $25,000 saved, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute; one in four have less than $1,000 saved. While an estimated 79% of Americans work for an employer that provides a retirement plan, U.S. Census Bureau research suggests just 41% of these employees contribute to their employer-sponsored retirement plan. In a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, Rescuing Retirement authors Teresa Ghilarducci and Tony James predict that “the U.S. will soon be facing rates of elder poverty unseen since the Great Depression; in fact, one study shows that more than one in three retiring Americans will find themselves in or near poverty in the next 10 years. This wave of older poor Americans will strain our social safety net programs and budgets as the country copes with providing low-income elder shelter, food, and health care.”

“The statistics for retirement preparedness in the U.S. and what they portend are dire indeed—but not insurmountable. NAGDCA’s goal with the new Retirement Garden Edition videos—as with all of our efforts—is to drive awareness of the need for Americans to assiduously tend their retirement savings. We seek to accomplish this by providing plan sponsors with turn-key ‘behaviorally effective’ communications that provide their participants with the information they need to be more effective in saving for retirement at every stage of their working lives,” said Sandy Blair, Chairperson of the NAGDCA National Retirement Security Week 2018 committee and CalSTRS Director of Retirement Readiness.

“While changing entrenched behaviors is difficult—and typically takes a sometimes painful amount of time—we’re confident that behavior change is possible. And we’ve seen how government efforts to turn the tide on important quality of life behaviors have worked, that Americans can shift to better self-care,” Sandy concluded.

“Your Whole Story” is designed to engage employees in a discussion about their overall financial decision-making, with an emphasis on their retirement savings decisions. It was created for NAGDCA by the National Association of Retirement Plan Participants (NARPP), a leading provider of retirement communications, using a process grounded in behavioral finance and human centered design to generate higher levels of engagement and behavior change. Test use on County of Los Angeles employees in 2016 resulted in a 25% increase in plan participation and a 48% increase in savings rates. NAGDCA received an Eddy Award for Overall Excellence from Pensions & Investments for “Your Whole Story” in March 2017.

NRSW is a national effort to raise public awareness about the importance of saving for retirement. It is held annually during the third week of October. Congress first passed the enabling legislation for NRSW at NAGDCA’s request in 2006. NRSW has continued each year since then with Congressional support. The most recent resolution, S. Res. 654, was submitted by Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) during the second session of the 115th Congress on behalf of himself and co-sponsoring senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Douglas Jones (D-AL), Todd Young (R-IN), and Maggie Hassan (D-NH).

NAGDCA is the leading association for defined contribution retirement plans of government employers to advocate opportunities that empower sponsors to preserve and enhance these plans to meet their goal of providing participants with financial security at retirement.

Robin Schoen