Why some employees will never value pension plans

Time to rethink how employers communicate pension issues
By Jacqueline Taggart
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 09/29/2006

Consider the following finding from an analysis of group savings plan members released in May this year. Nearly half — 49 per cent — are not taking full advantage of contributions from their employer. More than 37 per cent of members eligible for a matching contribution from their employer are not contributing anything to their group plan, according to Fidelity Investments, which conducted the analysis on a sample of 36,000 Canadian plan members.

In some instances, employees are missing out on as much as $1,600 a year in matching contributions from their employer.

It’s no secret that employees don’t “get” pensions. The industry is so engrossed in its own coded language it’s unable to accept or recognize any other mode of expression. How many HR managers have tried explaining termination values or joint and survivor options without seeing the eyes of their audience glaze over in complete bewilderment?