BOSTON – Massachusetts State Treasury's Department of Defined Contribution Plans campaign “Stay the course. Stay SMART”, has been chosen as a recipient of a 2018 National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators (NAGDCA) Leadership Recognition Award. This award recognizes the Massachusetts 457 Deferred Compensation SMART Plan for outstanding achievements in the Participant Education/Effective Communication category.
The Leadership Awards recognize excellence and innovation in retirement plan design, participant education, technology, and/or effective communication methods in government defined contribution plans.
“The SMART Plan is here to provide financial stability for our state and municipal employees,” said Treasurer Goldberg. "This award is a testament to the hard work done to ensure that a comfortable and secure retirement is a reality for all who participate."
“We are honored to receive this award recognition from NAGDCA for our “Stay the course. Stay SMART” campaign,” said David Lynch, Executive Director of Defined Contribution Plans. “This multi-channel campaign was developed by Plan staff, in collaboration with our record keeper, to educate participants about the many advantages of staying in the Plan when they retire or change employment, including continued access to local advisor representatives who can provide personalized education and support at no additional cost.”
In May 2017, the SMART Plan sought to educate employees who may not be aware of their option to retain their retirement accounts at retirement, or when changing employment. The campaign objectives were to reduce the amounts of full withdrawals and encourage consolidation of outside retirement accounts into the SMART Plan. It highlighted the advantages of potentially lower fees, access to local advisors and personalized services, a variety of investment options, and valuable online resources. To promote this, the Commonwealth launched a multi-channel campaign featuring a variety of communication tactics, including a website banner, an email, a newsletter article, and an educational flyer.
Overall the initial results included 124 fewer full or partial withdrawals, and over $7,662,293 less money leaving the SMART Plan compared to the same three-month period from the previous year. The email campaign also yielded an open rate of 47.2% and click rate of 7%, both above industry standards.
NAGDCA’s Awards Committee served as judges to review 50 submissions across the Participant Education and Effective Communication, Plan Design, and Technology and Social Media categories. NAGDCA will recognize the 2018 award winners at the Annual Conference on September 24, 2018.