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The Retire at Work programme – Media Backgrounder

3 April 2000

The Retire at Work programme - meeting demand for retirement planning information in the workplace

1. Need for workplace-based retirement information

Research conducted by ASFONZ and the Office of the Retirement Commissioner (1996) concluded that:

-there is an unmet demand for retirement income programmes provided through employers. Interest is greatest for employer subsidised schemes. But the survey shows there is demand for education and information programmes, and for employers to provide access to financial planning services.-

American research is also positive. The USA+s National Bureau of Economic Research has stated (papers 5655 and 5667) that:

-¦our findings indicate that employer-based retirement education strongly influences household financial behaviour.-

-Rates of saving, both in general and for the purposes of retirement, increase significantly with the provision of employer-based education.-

-Our results indicate that retirement seminars are generally associated with significantly higher rates of participation and contributions, at least when the frequency of these offerings is high.-

2. Response to demand

In response, the Office of the Retirement Commissioner+s Retire at Work programme has targeted the workplace for the delivery of financial planning information. Its approach is to:

Stage one - target employers through the nationwide print and television Retire at Work advertising and promotions campaign, highlighting the mutual benefits to employers and employees of delivering information through the workplace, and encouraging employers to seek more information via an 0800 information line and web site;

Stage two - provide a cost and time effective education and information seminar for employers to deliver in the work place in the form of the video-based Retire at Work Seminar.

Stage three - (if the employer chooses) follow up the Retire at Work Seminar with activity designed to help employees take action on saving - for example: set up payroll deductions to savings schemes; arrange one-on-one counselling with financial service providers; pay the administration costs of a master trust; organise group life cover etc.

3. Provide education and information

The initial communication with employers results from calling 0800 42 62 82 or visiting www.retireatwork.org.nz. They receive a pack entitled Retire at Work - helping your employees plan their financial future.

This outlines:

the programme, some options for the provision of education and information, helping employees to save, and providing financial assistance for saving;

how employers can order the Retire at Work Employee Seminar.

The Seminar comprises:

A video presentation (17 minutes long) A guide to running the seminar Copies of the following - Retirement Action Planner booklet How much will you need in retirement? brochure How to pick an investment brochure Test before you invest brochure Looking after yourself in retirement - financial planning for women brochure Saving at Work - Company Super Schemes brochure Posters designed to promote the seminar in the workplace.

In most cases, the Retire at Work Seminar will take about 30 minutes to complete, which makes it handy for lunchtime or after work presentations. While the guide will help employers to run the seminar, some may elect to bring in professional help from a representative of a financial service organisation.

The Office of the retirement Commissioner+s financial supporters in the Retire at Work programme are Tower, Bank of New Zealand, Royal &SunAlliance the New Zealand Stock Exchange. All are able to help employers run the seminar or provide individual or group retirement savings.

Of course, employers are not restricted to the programme+s supporters. They can choose whoever they wish to conduct the seminar and provide ongoing financial planning advice.

End

How much money will you want in retirement? To work it out, visit our website at www.retirement.org.nz . Calculators built and sponsored by The Web Limited, www.web.co.nz


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