401(k) Education: Taking plays from the NFL

Three weeks after joining the NFL, young recruits are sent for training off the football field and in the classroom. Each year, over 100 NFL players participate in college-level programs on various business topics. The programs are designed to teach players how to manage their money so they can still live comfortably once their football career is over.

“It's a way for the league to help ensure financial stability for these players beyond their primes,” according to a recent Forbes article.

While employees at corporations across the US generally make a small fraction of the money a NFL player would, it’s just as important they know what to do with their money. Automatic enrollment in the company’s 401(k) plan isn’t enough anymore.

In 2007, 34 percent of large employers offered automatic 401(k) enrollment. The average employee contributed 4.5 percent of their salary to a plan, which may not be enough for a comfortable retirement.

Some of your employees may need a little extra coaching when it comes to a retirement plan. Strongly encourage your employees to contact the financial organization that handles your plan for advice. If you’re up to the challenge, hold your own workshops during to educate employees on the best way to manage their money.

Don’t just assume your employees know exactly what to do with their 401(k). Many employees would be surprised to know how much more they would retire with if they contributed a slightly higher salary percentage than leaving it at the automatic level. You signed them up for the program, now show them how to use it.

Take a lesson from the NFL playbook and educate your employees on how successfully managing their 401(k) will score a touchdown when their prime is over.


1 comment:

Richard said...

If it's good enough for NFL players, it's good enough for the members of your team, too. And a good education program doesn't have to be difficult to implement: there are more than enough tools and calculators on the Internet to show the long-term benefits of steady payroll contributions. Get the message out -- a little adds up to a lot!


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