Employer Throws Retirement Party to Boost 401(k) Participation
Employee Benefit Adviser (08/01/03) Vol. 17, No. 10 p.38; Blassingame, Kelley M.

Few employers attempt to provide their Hispanic employees with the education they need to make informed decisions about their retirement benefits, says Carla Martinez, president of Buenfutoro, a Hispanic retirement services firm. Martinez notes that stereotypical views of Hispanics and language barriers are preventing many companies from providing their Hispanic employees with adequate retirement planning materials. Annette Grabow, retirement benefits manager at contracting firm M.S. Mortenson, says her company failed to realize the reasons behind the low participation of its Hispanic workers in the company's 401(k) plan until it tailored its message about retirement benefits to address Hispanic workers' specific needs. Mortenson, with the help of Strong Retirement Services, began throwing "fiesta breakfast" 401(k) education meetings that included talks by bilingual retirement educators. To meet the needs of the Hispanic workforce, the meetings placed a larger emphasis on how retirement benefits can help workers spend more time with their families, and helped to breakdown some of the retirement myths commonly believed by the workers.

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