Employees Want Retirement Education at Work; MetLife Answers Call with On-Site Seminars and Personalized, Face-to-Face Consultation

MetLife, the nation’s largest life insurer and leading provider of employee benefits, today announced the national expansion of its innovative retirewise® program. Launched in 2007, retirewise® is designed to help employees answer the big questions about retirement and serves as an enhancement to an employer’s existing benefits program. The retirewise® program was created to meet the needs of employees, particularly those approaching retirement, who are interested in receiving comprehensive and objective retirement education and guidance in the workplace. According to MetLife’s Sixth Annual Employee Benefits Trends Study, nearly half (49%) of all employees want employers to provide them with retirement education at work.

"The face of retirement has changed," said Anthony J. Nugent, senior vice president, Employee Benefit Sales at MetLife. "Preparing for retirement has become increasingly complex, as employees take on greater responsibility for financing and managing their retirement. The current economic environment has made that even more challenging. MetLife’s retirewise® program provides employees with the knowledge and tools to address these challenges head on. And, it’s easy to implement and manage, at no cost to the employer or their employees."

While other workplace education programs focus primarily on savings and investment strategies, retirewise® is a series of four, two-hour proprietary, solutions-oriented seminars that provide a comprehensive view of retirement.

  • The first seminar helps employees begin to envision their retirement and how they’ll finance it by reviewing basic money principles and their relevance in retirement.
  • The second seminar focuses on creating and protecting wealth and introduces employees to the retirement income planning process.
  • In the third seminar employees learn how to structure a retirement income stream and protect against unplanned expenses.
  • Finally, the fourth seminar helps employees understand how to make the most of what they have, starting with how employee benefits fit into their retirement plans.

At the conclusion of the seminar series, employees can choose to take advantage of an optional complimentary, face-to-face consultation with a specially-trained MetLife representative. Spouses, parents, and other family members are also encouraged to participate in retirewise®.

"One of the unique features of retirewise® is that we’re able to deploy our extensive network of specially-trained MetLife representatives to conduct the seminars and meet privately with employees face-to-face," said Michael J. Vietri, executive vice president, Individual Distribution at MetLife. "They are hand-picked for their retirement expertise and their ability to present holistic solutions to help meet the wide-range of retirement issues that employees face today."

To date, retirewise® has been very well received by employers and employees alike. Currently, more than 250 employers offer the program to their employees. Among the 10,000+ employees who have already attended a retirewise® seminar, the satisfaction rating is an impressive 99% of those seminar participants who responded to surveys. Furthermore, nearly all attendees (98%) indicate that they plan to take action regarding their own personal retirement planning as a result of the seminars.

"This program has been a real win-win for both our company and our employees," said Edward Houghton, director, Workforce Effectiveness and Transition Services, Pitney Bowes. "Retirement planning has become much more complex. The retirewise® program helps prepare our employees to make informed decisions so they can maximize the value of both company provided and personal resources. Feedback confirms that employees gain valuable retirement planning knowledge and insights and particularly appreciate the convenience of these no cost, on-site sessions," he added.

In 2007, MetLife introduced retirewise® in 11 markets: New York/New Jersey/ Connecticut, Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Florida, Chicago, St. Louis, Dallas, Ohio/Kentucky/Indiana, San Francisco and San Diego/Irvine. Today, retirewise® is available in 20 regional markets. New locations include: Washington DC/Baltimore, Atlanta, Houston, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Detroit, and Los Angeles, with Seattle/Portland, Charlotte/Greensboro and Phoenix/Tucson launching in the second half of 2009. Additional markets are slated for 2010.

"Having relationships with more than 60,000 employers – including over 90 among the top 100 of the FORTUNE 500® – and a retail distribution of more than 11,000 affiliated advisors, makes us uniquely positioned to enable employers to demonstrate their companies’ concern for employees by helping them master the very complex and important subject of retirement," added Nugent.

Celebrating 140 years, MetLife is a subsidiary of MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), a leading provider of insurance and financial services with operations throughout the United States and the Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific regions. Through its domestic and international subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife, Inc. reaches more than 70 million customers around the world and MetLife is the largest life insurer in the United States (based on life insurance in-force). The MetLife companies offer life insurance, annuities, auto and home insurance, retail banking and other financial services to individuals, as well as group insurance and retirement & savings products and services to corporations and other institutions. For more information, please visit