Canadian Treasurer

November 27 , 2012

Employees who use financial security retirement planning simulator contribute 50 percent more

LÉVIS, QC--Three years after launching their retirement simulator, On Target RetirementTM, Desjardins Financial Security (DFS) conducted a study to analyze participant behaviour among users and non-users. Results go beyond expectations: in some cases participants contributed 50% more for their retirement than non-users.

Study results
DFS' study focused on 60 groups with at least 10 participants and an On Target Retirement participation rate of at least 10%. After analyzing 17,500 participants, they found that on average, participants using On Target are enticed to start saving early.

In 53 of the 60 groups analyzed, contributions were higher with participants who were using On Target. The tool takes an abstract concept and visually demonstrates the impact of saving. Employees can see how their monthly contributions will add up over time. They can also try different scenarios like changing their retirement age or seeing how much they can potentially save by increasing their contributions. Most importantly, the tool integrates the data into their statement, which means they are continually reminded of their progress and encouraged to stay on track.

Effects on Gen Y
The survey results also showed that the On Target Retirement tool had an even more surprising result with the younger demographic. In companies where On Target Retirement was actively promoted, there was a more rapid change in behaviour, particularly among those between the ages of 30 to 39. The study showed that the Gen Y participants experienced a significant change of behaviour. Their average contributions were 36% higher (2012 over 2011) versus 13% for non-users.

New media spin offs
Engaging employees in their own retirement planning is an industry-wide challenge. "We're currently exploring the potential of new media to engage employees of all ages. To test the waters, we created a fun augmented reality game inspired by the On Target Retirement tool," says Eric Filion, vice-president of Development, Marketing and Investment Strategies for DFS' Group Retirement Savings division. "Although the game, 'Get on Target' was initially designed for promotional purposes, we have already explored this same technology with existing employees and have seen its potential to engage employees in a whole new way."



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