METLIFE EXPANDS SUCCESSFUL RETIREWISE® PROGRAM
Employee Interest in Retirement Education at Work Surging;
Program Now Used by Over 450 Employers Across the United States
NEW YORK, December 16, 2009 – With more and more individuals now responsible for their own retirement planning, and spurred by the recent economic downturn, employees are increasingly turning to their employers for assistance with retirement planning and education in the workplace. MetLife, the nation’s largest life insurer and leading provider of employee benefits, announced today that it has expanded its retirewise® program to more than 450 employers nationally, up from 250 at the national rollout in late 2008. Major companies using the program to help employees answer the big questions about retirement include American Airlines, Ogilvy & Mather, Raytheon, Sephora, Textron, Univision, and the Missouri-based St. John’s Health System.
“This program has been well received by our employees,” said Dave Levine, managing director, Human Resources Delivery, for Fort Worth-based American Airlines. “We realize that offering programs like retirewise helps employees understand all the factors they need to consider before retiring. Our employees particularly appreciate the convenience of these no-cost, on-site sessions,” he added.
According to MetLife’s Seventh Annual Employee Benefits Trends Study, more than half (51%) of all employees surveyed wanted employers to provide them with retirement education at work in 2008, up from 44% in 2007 and just 29% in 2006. Moreover, the recent financial crisis prompted 60% of employees surveyed by MetLife to review their retirement income needs.
“The current economic environment has dramatically changed how employees will need to plan for retirement,” said Mike Vietri, executive vice president, U.S. Business, for MetLife. “This program gives employees the necessary tools and guidance to start planning a secure retirement, at no cost to either the employer or employee. Through our relationship with many of the nation’s leading corporations and our extensive network of highly trained professionals, we are well positioned to meet the growing need for retirement planning and education in the convenience of the workplace,” Vietri added.
While many workplace education programs focus primarily on savings and investment strategies, retirewise is a series of four solutions-oriented, two-hour proprietary seminars that provide a comprehensive view of retirement. The program covers savings and investment during the working years and making employer and government benefits part of the planning process. The critical need to create an income plan for the retirement years is also addressed. The dialogue enables participants to identify what a satisfying and meaningful retirement means to them and how to work toward achieving it. Below is a brief description of the retirewise seminars:
- 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 ways to create and protect wealth and introduces employees to the retirement income planning process.
- In the third seminar employees learn strategies for structuring a retirement income stream and protecting against unplanned expenses.
- Starting with how employer and federally sponsored benefits fit into their retirement plans, the fourth seminar helps employees understand how to make the most of what they have.
At the conclusion of the seminar series, participants can choose to take advantage of an optional and complimentary face-to-face consultation with a specially-trained MetLife representative. Spouses also are encouraged to participate in retirewise.
“Employees need to plan holistically for retirement, and employers, who are more aware than ever of the important role that benefits play in attracting and retaining talent, are using retirewise to help increase benefits satisfaction and employee loyalty,” noted Tony Nugent, executive vice president, Employee Benefit Sales, at MetLife. “This is becoming increasingly important as more and more companies seek to minimize costs and maximize the return on investment of their benefits programs,” added Nugent.
Employees at the Lockton Companies, the worldwide privately owned independent insurance broker, also are responding enthusiastically to retirewise, said Theresa Schnelle, assistant vice president and manager, Compensation Benefits, based in the company’s Kansas City, MO headquarters. “We found retirewise to be a solid, in-depth resource for our associates’ financial education,” Schnelle said. “The modules cover several important steps in the planning process and take an unbiased approach to educate employees as they maneuver on the path to retirement.”
MetLife is a subsidiary of MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), a leading provider of insurance, employee benefits and financial services with operations throughout the United States and the Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific regions. Through its 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, visit www.metlife.com.