Update: The Application of “The Macchia Vision” to the Challenge of Increasing Participant Deferral Levels

Following yesterday’s post I received several emails form individuals who work for 401(k) providers asking about how what I termed, “The Macchia Vision” could be applied to the challenge of increasing the current levels of deferrals among 401(k) plan participants. Conceptually, a strategy to motivate increased deferrals (or even initial participation in the plan itself, for that matter) would almost exactly mirror the process I set forth yesterday. What would differ is the text of the email sent to the individual participant; it becomes a message aimed at younger workers who, arguably, are not saving enough for their retirement years. In addition, the streaming video would need to be multi-dimensional.

Keeping the example from yesterday’s post of Fred Jones, an employee of XYZ Office Products, who is participating in a plan provided by ABC Retirement Company, let’s assume that Fred is currently participating at only a minimal level. The email message text to Fred might read like this:

Dear Fred

Sometimes the most attractive of benefits can be found right under our noses! One of the most attractive financial benefits available to employees of XYZ Office Products is your company’s 401(k) plan. You may say, “What’s so attractive?” Well, consider these facts:

ZYX Office Products will match your contributions to the plan up to a level of 5%. Think of this matching contribution as the equivalent of a 100% return on your money! There may be no other single opportunity available to you that offers such an attractive financial incentive.

The reasons for taking full advantage of your opportunity to defer more of your current income are not without context. Americans are, in general, saving very little for their futures. In recent years, the national savings rate has sometimes actually been less that zero. To this add concerns over the long-term health of Social Security and increased longevity and you begin to realize that employees have a special responsibility to create their own retirement security. No one can argue that, going into retirement, it’s not better to have more money than less.

By the way, you may already know that salary you defer to contribute to your 401(k) plan is “before tax”, meaning that you receive a big income tax benefit. That’s the icing on the 401(k) plan cake!

To help you learn about the importance of saving adequately for retirement, ABC Retirement Company has created a 30-minute, on-demand video program called, “Retirement: A Time for Security.” The video is engaging, informative and full of valuable information and insights.

Now, the best part: To help you view the program with the maximum of convenience, ABC Retirement Company has created for you your own website. This website is unique to you, and has its own web address.

Just click on


to watch the movie.

After learning why increasing you salary deferral may make good sense, you may simply click the Increase My Contribution Action Button to indicate your desire to save more. We will call or email you with any additional information we may need to fulfill your request.

Please feel free to share your website with family members or friends who may benefit by learning more about the importance of saving for retirement. And please know how much we look forward to helping you increase your retirement security.


ABC Retirement Company

Again, please see yesterday’s post for a detailed exploration of the other components of “The Macchia Vision” and its projected benefits.

©Copyright 2007 David A. Macchia. All rights reserved.