How to create a GRS education session

  • Share:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print
  • Email
  • Text Size

A sophisticated and well-executed group retirement savings plan can take many shapes and sizes depending on the type of company. But no matter how many lives are being serviced and no matter what the industry, a plan must have a sound group education component to be truly valuable for employees.

And while it may not be the easiest topic to get across to a less-than-enthusiastic audience, the messages need to be succinct while explaining the company’s philosophy behind the plan and why it’s so beneficial for the employee.

“The reality is that this is a relatively foreign and dry subject for many,” says Drew Prichard, principle with Reuter Benefits in Toronto. “As a result, you have to really engage the people on an active basis for them to absorb the information and then take action.”

To do that, Prichard says you start developing a session by ensuring you understand the culture of the company and the objectives of the plan. Why does the employer want a plan in place? What are the employee demographics? What’s the basic level of investment knowledge of the group? These details will help you shape the design and tone of the education session as well as how you present the information, he says.

Also, you’ll need to consider the elements of the plan that you need to explain, such as contribution levels, eligibility and the investments available. The way you explain these concepts and the detail you go into will depend on the answers to the questions about the employee group.

After you have thought out what details to cover and how to present it, create an agenda, says Michael Horne, partner with Carleton Financial Group in Ottawa. Be sure to discuss the benefits of joining the plan (if it is a new plan) and an explanation of the investments and services available.

If you’re starting to develop a presentation from scratch, preparation time may take a couple of hours. However, once you have a structure you can use it for future presentations. “We basically have the presentation as a template,” says Horne.

Despite the somewhat templated nature of the presentation, Horne notes that each plan is unique and comes with a certain amount of customization. Things like fee structure, size, and demographics of the workforce all play a role in the design of the education session.

Read Part 2.

Transcontinental Media G.P.