Paul J. Yakoboski
Principal Research Fellow
October 2008 |
Engaging new college and university employees to save for retirement is a challenge for many institutions. In September 2008, the TIAA-CREF Institute hosted a symposium exploring the nature of the new-hire savings challenge and strategies for addressing it. A consensus emerged that education creates an understanding of the need and even an intent to save, but it is typically not sufficient to move new employees to begin saving. Barriers overwhelm intent. Such barriers can result from the context of the new-hire experience, biases in time perceptions, feeling overwhelmed by the decisions that must be made, wanting to be sure that the right decisions are made, and other factors.
Social marketing provides a framework for understanding these barriers and developing strategies and aids to market retirement savings to new employees and make it easy for them to begin saving. An additional strategy entails trying to make new faculty predisposed to retirement saving before arriving on campus through financial-planning education offered to Ph.D. students while still in graduate school.