Can small enhancements to enrollment websites improve participant engagement?

If you are looking to help improve your employees’ savings and long-term retirement security, as well as overall plan engagement, making small adjustments to your enrollment website and plan design can be a powerful strategy.

Employees are conflicted: the financial demands of today are competing with the financial outcomes of the future. To help with long-term goals and drive better retirement outcomes, consider these strategies from A Blueprint for Retirement Success1:

  • Implement automatic enrollment—and consider a suitable default savings rate of 7%-10%
  • Consider a stretch match—instead of matching dollar-for-dollar up to 3% of pay, consider 30 – 35 cents on the dollar up to 10% of pay
  • Add automatic escalation—(Note:  the SECURE Act just increased the safe harbor automatic escalation cap to 15% of pay)
  • Re-enroll employees who have opted out to increase participation rates, contribution rates, and investments in the plan’s QDIA
  • Choose appropriate default investments—follow a prudent process

Voya collaborated with researchers in the academic community and found that raising the display rate during auto-enrollment can significantly increase savings without increasing the percentage of people who opt-out2. Based on this finding, Voya now uses 7 percent as the deferral rate displayed on its enrollment website.

Voya has also led the way with enhanced digital designs. As described in a recent Harvard Business Review article How Digital Design Drives User Behavior, Voya has collaborated with researchers in the academic community to show that minor design improvements can have a major impact on retirement savings. In fact, these design changes had an effect that’s equivalent to raising the employer match by more than 60%.

These are clear examples of how purposeful innovation can help your employees save more. Learn more.

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1A Blueprint for Retirement Success – Five Strategies for Mitigating Fiduciary Risk and Enhancing Employee Readiness through Workplace Saving Plans, Fred Reish and Bruce Ashton, October 2016


2 How Do Consumers Respond When Default Options Push the Envelope? (SSRN #3050562), by John Beshears of Harvard University and NBER; Shlomo Benartzi of University of California, Los Angeles; Richard T. Mason of City, University of London and Voya Financial; and Katherine L. Milkman of University of Pennsylvania.