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Less jargon, more clarity

Aug 26, 2021
Empower Institute

Improving retirement plan communications with simple language can promote action

Words have the potential to inform, encourage and empower. But the wrong words can be powerful in negative ways, leaving people uncomfortable, overwhelmed or confused. In fact, almost half of savers say financial terms make them hesitant to talk about money. Using the right words is especially critical in financial matters. Employees need to understand their retirement plan options and feel confident in them so they will take steps to improve their financial future.

Do financial terms make you hesitant to talk about money? Chart

The latest original research conducted by the Harris Poll on behalf of Empower Retirement shows savers have clear preferences when it comes to retirement planning language, but employers and the retirement planning industry aren’t always listening.

How to talk so retirement savers will listen

What language and formats work for savers? A series of research projects shows they want communications that are simple, brief and use everyday words in a financial context. Overall, savers want most account information delivered by email, but they have different preferences related to educational materials that includes a mix of live, one-on-one meetings; digital content; and text.

Connecting with your audience

Financial matters are complex and confusing for many people. When the communications surrounding them are difficult to understand, financial topics can become more overwhelming. Consider taking the following steps to avoid jargon and give your employees the support they need:

  • Focus on simplicity.
  • Know your audiences.
  • Choose the right channel(s).

By providing clear information via the methods your employees prefer, you can help them be better informed about their options and more confident in their decisions.

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