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How to Convince Your Employer to Add 401(k) Plans

Participating in a 401(k) plan is one of the simplest ways to start planning for retirement. Unfortunately, not all employers offer this tax-advantaged savings plan. If you don’t have the opportunity to invest in a 401(k), you may need to convince your employer to provide this benefit. Check out three tips that can improve your odds of getting the retirement support you need for your future.

Check out our 401(k) calculator.

1. Know Who to Approach

Figure out who you can talk to about offering 401(k) plans. You will probably need to reach out to an HR representative if your office has one, but you can also contact one of the higher-ups if you don’t feel your voice is being heard. Instead of planning to discuss the issue with a random company executive, it might be a good idea to approach someone you’ve already built rapport with.

2. Praise the Benefits

How to Convince Your Employer to Add 401(k) Plans

As you explain why your company needs 401(k) plans, it’s important to keep your intended audience and impact in mind. You don’t want to come off as a complainer who doesn’t understand the costs of the plan. It’s a good idea to learn how 401(k) plans work before you have the conversation and present all the positive outcomes they could have for your  business and its employees.

For example, you could make the case that employer-sponsored retirement plans are a recruitment magnet. They can help reduce turnover, offer tax advantages and are relatively simple to set up and maintain. Best of all, 401(k) plans contribute to a healthy economy and can potentially be worth a lot of money by the time employees retire.

Make sure whoever you talk to understands that matching is an optional perk. If they’re still opposed to the idea, you can ask (politely) why and find out how your company can make room for 401(k) plans in the future.

Find out now: How much do I need to save for retirement?

3. Make It Easy for Them

The biggest help you can offer your employer is agreeing to research available 401(k) plans. Your employer might lack the time and the resources needed to compare different plans, but promising to look into the options for them could be the tipping point that convinces them to get on board.

Many 401(k) plans have their own administrators, meaning that managing the plans can require minimal time, effort and paperwork from your employer. Furthermore, there are plans for businesses of all sizes that keep different needs and budgets in mind. You can search for 401(k) plans with low fees and present your findings in a way that will get your boss excited about the prospect.

Related Article: Are Hidden Fees Draining Your 401(k)?

Bottom Line

How to Convince Your Employer to Add 401(k) Plans

It might require a lot of negotiation and hard work, but fighting for a 401(k) plan will give you and your co-workers the chance to start saving for retirement. Keep in mind that there’s strength in numbers. So a good first step might be trying to get the other employees on board.

Tips for Getting Retirement Ready

  • Figure out how much you’ll need to save to retire comfortably. If you can convince your employer to add 401(k) plans, an easy way to get ahead on saving for retirement is by taking advantage of employer 401(k) matching.
  • Work with a financial advisor. According to industry experts, people who work with a financial advisor are twice as likely to be on track to meet their retirement goals. A matching tool like SmartAsset’s can help you find a person to work waith to meet your needs. First you’ll answer a series of questions about your situation and goals. Then the program will narrow down your options from thousands of advisors to up to three registered investment advisors who suit your needs. You can then read their profiles to learn more about them, interview them on the phone or in person and choose who to work with in the future. This allows you to find a good fit while the program does much of the hard work for you.

Photo credit: ©iStock.com/eli_asenova, ©iStock.com/Jirsak, ©iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages

Liz Smith Liz Smith is a graduate of New York University and has been passionate about helping people make better financial decisions since her college days. Liz has been writing for SmartAsset for more than four years. Her areas of expertise include retirement, credit cards and savings. She also focuses on all money issues for millennials. Liz's articles have been featured across the web, including on AOL Finance, Business Insider and WNBC. The biggest personal finance mistake she sees people making: not contributing to retirement early in their careers.
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