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Does Your Company's 401(k) Reflect Your Values?

Mar 28, 2018

Does your company’s 401(k) plan reflect your values? As a specialist in small to medium sized businesses I know in Austin, TX we are rich with companies that have real vision and commitment to their employees and the community. From local distilleries, ice cream makers, to tech companies we have a list of beloved companies that value their employees and the community.

Often, however I see a huge disconnect in what a company communicates to their employees as far as value and what their 401(k) or retirement plan says about their values.

  • CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY - If your company is socially responsible, environmentally friendly or sustainable, are these values reflected in the investment in your 401(K)? Employees often times may see this as disingenuous and you may be communicating conflicting messages.
  • EDUCATION -If your company has core value of educating and empowering your employees are your 401(k) enrollment and ongoing education meetings reflecting this? Are you using customized presentations to your business and employees or are you using cookie cutter presentations from a company that does not even know your employees?
  • CARING – if your communicating to your employees that they are a valuable asset to your business and that you want to keep the around for life are you reflecting this in the 401(k) plan? Do you know what your demographics might actually need be saving for retirement? I’ve seen owners promise 401(k) or matching for years to their employees only drive up in new Cadillacs with no change to the plan – imagine what those employees think.
  • ATMOSPHERE and CULTURE – Do you pride yourself on your company having that mom and pop feel vs. a corporate atmosphere? Do you have a 401(k) provider that comes to mind when you think of giant corporate financial services companies? This can send a double message to your employees and communicate a lack of genuine identity.

Lastly, does the advisor on your plan know your employees? I love jumping in the trenches and enrolling, educating, and listening to employees. The numbers on the plan health reports you review every year (or should) take on a whole new meaning when you actually know why people are doing what they are doing. Perhaps your loan utilization looks high, but a group of employees took money out for an investment opportunity. Perhaps your enrollment numbers look great, but your first-generation investors are not using the plan. 401(k)s have come a long way, but they need to be an extension of your company’s mission and values if they are going to be effective. I pride myself on my ability to understand a company’s culture and make recommendations that amplify your message.

This article was written by Brendan Pheasant CFP®, ChFC, LUTCF, AIF® - Financial Advisor

2801 Via Fortuna, Suite 450, Austin, TX 78746

Brendan is a registered representative and investment advisor representative of CRI Securities, LLC and Securian Financial Services, Inc. North Star Consultants, Inc., Insurance Products and Services I CRI Securities, LLC., Securities, Investments and Investment Advisory Services I Securian Financial Services, Inc., Variable Products, Securities and Investment Advisory Services    North Star Resource Group offers Securities and investment advisory services offered through CRI Securities, LLC and Securian Financial Services, Inc. Members FINRA/SIPC. CRI Securities, LLC is affiliated with North Star Consultants, Inc., North Star Consultants Texas, Inc. and Securian Financial Services, Inc. Securian Financial Services, Inc. operates under separate ownership from North Star Consultants, Inc. and North Star Consultants Texas, Inc.   North Star Consultants Texas, Inc. doing business as North Star Consultants of Texas in the state of Texas. 2067810/DOFU 3-2018



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