We had the fantastic opportunity to join one of our clients, Wheelabrator Group, at the Plan Sponsor of the Year Awards dinner in New York this last weekend. It was great to be surrounded by so many people who obviously care a great deal about their employees.
Wheelabrator made several changes to their retirement plan that showed an obvious dedication to their employees and addressed their specific needs. One of the most powerful changes they made was to shift to auto enrollment (and reenrollment of nonparticipating employees). There was a paradigm shift when the employer assumed participation rather than non-participation. By changing the default to assuming enrollment and requiring an opt-out rather than an opt-in, enrollment increased from 71% to 94%. .
In addition to this change, Wheelabrator provided a holistic financial education for their employees. 12% of the employees are Spanish speaking, so they relied on the help of Vanguard to provide Spanish education. Many of their employees felt like they couldn’t take the hit on their paycheck that saving would cause, so the education focused on budgeting and creating an overall financial strategy. Additionally, a 1% auto increase was added up to a 10% ceiling. Due to the education and the auto increase the average employee deferral rate increased from 6.6% to 8.8%.
You can read more about all the changes Wheelabrator Group made here.
We are so proud of our client for being a finalist, and the hard work they put into implementing a plan that benefits their employees.