Our vision is to assist the thousands of educators that need – and deserve – access to information and resources to help make decisions regarding planning for retirement.
The challenge is that the districts themselves are often under-resourced and/or don’t have the knowledge or capacity to create programs to help better serve their constituents.
Thus, we collaborated with some of the most influential Financial Advisors in Arizona, such as the AZ 403(b) Professionals Group, to identify what districts need and want (Learn more about the group).
As a result, our District ERP Member Benefits Platform was created, which includes a set of tools that help school districts manage and support their Supplemental Retirement Plans. Now, you can better serve your employees with a platform that consolidates all the information together into a “Playbook”!
We look forward to your participation, as well as questions, concerns, or any feedback as to how we can further assist you.
The first issue is the management of the program. Here are a few of the major concerns:
The second challenge for districts when it comes to the Supplemental Retirement Plans program is administering financial education for employees, along with staying compliant with the IRS rules on Universal Availability. Note that the resources ERP provides should be used to supplement any on-site efforts currently in place. Here are the challenges:
As part of our Platform, every district will have an Administrator Management Page to be managed by a "Designated Manager" (i.e., a designated employee of your district). The management page, which includes the following types of information, is used to create and update an "Employee Retirement Resource Page" that is publicly available for the employees of each district
Our ERP Platform also includes the ability for your HR/Benefits staff to quickly and easily (within minutes!) generate a list, for your specific district, of approved Supplemental Retirement Plan providers and advisors.
To make the list more interactive and helpful, advisors have the capability to include biographical information in video/text, enabling staff to “meet”, evaluate, and more accurately identify who you want to work with in creating your
own District Playbook.
Additionally, one of the many benefits of our Platform is that we provide periodic updates to ensure the accuracy of the list.
In short, using the ERP Platform, you can reduce the workload of your HR and Benefits staff!
The Lists: How, Who, and Which
We believe that our lists are of the utmost importance to you because, at the end of the day, it is relationships that DRIVE increased participation in your plan. Thus, the more comprehensive and better managed our information is for
you, you can make better – more lasting – provider and advisor decisions.
Now, let's take a look at the how, who, and which of the lists:
As part of offering “product-neutral” educational opportunities to teachers, ERP has developed a library of resources. Each library is available to be deployed by member districts in just minutes! Resources include:
Employees can learn about important topics, such as 403(B), 457(b), Social Security, State Retirement, etc. We also have useful calculators and planning tools.
This “drip campaign” Video Series offers districts the ability to send videos out at predetermined intervals. Each video is no longer than three minutes and can be attached to an email that is sent by
the district. Videos and other materials sent directly by the district (1) help enhance the perception that the district is offering employees value and (2) are more likely to be opened/viewed when from a familiar and trusted
Other details about the videos:
Each video is on a different topic and is product-neutral
Each contains a call-to-action prompting viewers to read an article or contact one of the advisors from your district-approved list of advisors Incentives are offers, such as gift cards, for individuals that watch the video or request information from one of the advisors. Research shows that "making it fun" dramatically increases the participation rate.
ERP also maintains video and article curriculum targeted for specific demographics or situations. Such content includes curriculum for:
Many districts are not aware of the IRS requirement to notify their employees that (1) they have a district-approved Supplemental Retirement Plan and (2) they are offering them a meaningful opportunity to enroll. The ERP Video Series
helps districts to comply with these requirements.
Better yet, this compliance piece is simple for the district to manage. When an employee watches a video sent by the district, the employee is required to log-in with their work email and district.
Later, the Designated Manager can run a report of all activity, which can then be provided to the IRS to verify UA compliance efforts. (Note: While this is an important step in compliance, be aware that you should also follow the instructions
of your Third Party Administrator, including sending UA notices at least annually.)
As part of the ERP Platform, EVERY district will have their own district Employee Supplemental Retirement Resource Page for employees. This page focuses ONLY on supplemental retirement plans and is best used as an adjunct to the district’s
own FIR or benefits page. The page includes: Approved providers (updated regularly) Third Party Administrator contact information SRA forms Key information regarding loans and withdrawals, etc.
NOTE Educators Retirement Plan (ERP) District Member Benefits Platform is not designed to replace anything that you are already doing. We encourage you to continue to help your employees plan for retirement in every way possible, including
on site presentations, benefits fairs, etc.
New research published by the National Tax-Deferred Savings Association (NTSA) confirms that there is 0 connection between the number of options – and advisors – available to employees in public education 403(b) plans and participation and contribution rates in those plans.
More than four in ten (44 percent) American full-time workers say they worry about personal finances during work hours. And what should be of concern to employers looking to improve engagement and productivity, 29 percent of American full-time workers recently said they spend time dealing with their personal finances during work hours, and of those, 46 percent spend an average of 2-3 hours per week at work dealing with their financial issues.
New research published by the National Tax-Deferred Savings Association (NTSA) confirms that there is a connection between the number of options – and advisors – available to employees in public education 403(b) plans and participation and contribution rates in those plans.
Make the time today to educate your employees on retirement opportunities in Arizona and be prepared for the IRS Universal Availability compliance.
Our participation in 403b and 457 investment products increased, we believe, due to the introduction of Dr Mark Adkins Retirement Lesson Plan video series that we began in the Spring of 2018. We have seen an increase of over 19% participation
since the video series was introduced.”
Payroll & Benefits Supervisor Dysart Unified School District
Mountain High School
I enjoyed the videos because they were short and explained things well. They made me think about my retirement. I was a stay at home mom for almost 20 years and just started teaching 4 years ago. One of the main reasons
I started working was to save for retirement. I enjoyed the video about the 457 versus the 403b. I contribute to the 457 due to my husbands doing and now I understand the difference better. Thank you again. The
videos are well done as I feel you genuinely care about helping us save for retirement and you are very knowledgeable.
2nd Grade Teacher
Desert Mountain Elementary
I enjoyed the videos because they were short and explained things well. They made me think about my retirement. I was a stay at home mom for almost 20 years and just started teaching4 years ago. One of the main reasons I started working was to save for retirement. I enjoyed the video about the 457 versus the 403b. I contribute to the 457 due to my husbands doing and now I understand the difference better. Thank you again. The videos are well done as I feel you genuinely care about helping us save for retirement and you are very knowledgeable.
With the help of the Retirement Lesson Plan website, prospects, existing clients that have changed districts, lost contact information or just wanted to reach out have found a great tool to use and connect. Dr. Mark Adkins is fantastic at getting the request out to the appropriate hands in a very timely manner. Kudos for giving employees another tool to make things a bit easier for them!