401k & 403b Plans…click on title for PDF

In voluntary 401k retirement plans, employees are fully responsible for defining their future income goal and funding it. But they don’t know how. So they make mistakes. That’s because 401k education has never worked.

Employers must insist that the retirement industry either makes sure employees have the knowledge needed to succeed or it offers retirement plans that do not require knowledgeable employee operators.

For 20 years, I’ve been a critical of the retirement industry’s education efforts. I was the first to call for realistic account targets, competency-based success measures and education policy statements.

Several of my articles are below. Some recent speeches are HERE. My overall message about retirement education has remained constant as shown in this speech from the late 1990s HERE.

Making Retirement Education Work

NEW ARTICLE     The Massive Failure of 401k Education
Most employees lack the understanding and motivation to use 401ks successfully.  Unless the education is fixed, 401ks will continue to provide too little retirement income to too many Americans.

Answers to the 401k Questions that Matter Most
Why are these questions often not answered?

Fun, Easy and Automatic: Not a Sure Way to Ample Retirement Income
Creating ample retirement income is difficult. It won’t happen automatically.

It’s Time We Start Measuring What We Say 401k Retirement Plans Do
Educators must define competencies participants need to achieve retirement adequacy…plan sponsors must have an Education Policy Statement to manage educators — ideas from a decade ago.

Retirement Education Needs to Define Success and Tap Into Motivation
Until education measures matter, for most people…retirement is just not going to work.

Buy Your Retirement Here!
Using consumer terms helps employees discover that retirement is the most expensive purchase they will ever make.

Help 401k Participants Discover the Value of Annuities
Participants need to see the options they have in purchasing the retirement lifestyle they want.

Consumer Approach to Retirement Planning
Most employees don’t know how much to save or how to invest because they don’t know how much they need.

16 Ways to Boost Participation in Your 401(k) Plan
Send a letter to every employee who is not contributing enough to get the maximum company contribution.

Retirement Education Needs to Make a Lot More Cents
Employees and employers can pay now by funding retirement plans—or someone else pays later.

Making Retirement Education Work
Employees need to view retirement income as the largest purchase they will ever make.

Retirement Communication Could Use Consumer-Oriented Approach – Pension World, 1992
Most baby boomers may not have enough money during retirement to maintain their current standard of living.
For 20 years, Dennis Ackley has shown the failings of retirement education…and how to improve it.

To learn more about Retirement Adequacy Incite© – the totally new approach to retirement education invented by Dennis Ackley – click HERE.

Contemporary Issues

401k Fee Disclosure for the ‘You Never Told Me’ Employees
Most employees think 401ks are free—be prepared for ‘bad news’ fee disclosure communication.

Employee Trust is Essential in 401(k)s and 403(b)s…But Sometimes Missing
Without trust, even the greatest plan designs will fail to attract as many employees as possible.

Clear Participant 401k Fee Communication is Inevitable and Necessary
The retirement industry needs a simple and transparent pricing structure.

The Pension Protection Act is Sweet: But Not for Retirement Dreams
Automatic features will not accomplish what knowledgeable, motivated individuals can do.

When Will the Secret of 401(k)s be Exposed?
Without measures, plan sponsors don’t know if they are helping employees achieve personal retirement dreams.

Resources and News Clips
PLANSPONSOR com, Getting Participants to “Buy” Retirement
MarketWatch, The 401(k)’s Failings – Problems Go Well Beyond Those Enron Exposed
Business Finance, When Bad Things Happen to Good Plans