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Employer Best Practices

Are your employees getting the most out of your RPB plan?

Follow these 5 best practices to increase participation and promote financial wellness

The challenge

Despite putting in years of hard work and dedication to their jobs, many Americans reach retirement age with little or no savings. One of the main reasons for this is that too few workers have the opportunity to save for retirement through an employer plan. And even when an employer retirement plan is offered, many do not participate.

This adds up to an estimated $7.1 trillion retirement savings shortfall, with half of American households facing a lower standard of living once they stop working.

What you can do about it

As an employer, you can help your employees and their families avoid this pitfall and reach their retirement goals by following these 5 best practices for managing your RPB retirement plan.

Only half of eligible employees participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan each year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. By automatically enrolling new employees in the RPB retirement plan during the on-boarding process, you can help change that.

By law, employees can opt-out of auto-enrollment. However, multiple studies show that most employees do not opt out and appreciate employer encouragement.

You can also auto-enroll current employees who are not yet participating in the RPB plan. Implement this policy at the start of your new fiscal year coinciding with the usual raise period to minimize the impact on your employees’ paychecks.

Many employees experience inertia, indecisiveness, and confusion about the advantages of consistent and long-term retirement planning. To break through this and get them started, set a default contribution rate of at least 3% of the employee’s total compensation that starts with their first paycheck.

By law, employees can increase or decrease their deferral rate at any time.

Making sure employees get started with their savings is great—encouraging them to save more is even better. To help your employees save enough for retirement, consider automatically increasing the contributions from their paycheck by 1% each year, with a goal of reaching 15% of annual compensation.

You can do this at the start of the fiscal year until they reach a contribution rate of 15% of their annual compensation, or the maximum limit set by the IRS.

By law, employees can opt out of auto-escalation each year using a form that you provide. Like auto-enrollment, studies show that most people do not opt out.

Consider timing auto-escalation of contributions with pay raises when employees have extra money for their retirement savings.

You can help your employees reach the 15% recommended annual savings rate by making contributions on their behalf. If your organization can afford it, this is a highly-regarded benefit that can help attract and retain employees.

What you need to decide:

  • How much to contribute to your employees' retirement savings account.

  • Whether to use matching, non-matching, or another scenario to determine your contribution rate.

  • Whether or not to have a waiting period and/or minimum service requirements to receive an employer contribution.

Pretax and Roth post-tax retirement plan contributions have different tax advantages. Since each employee's financial situation is unique, giving them the flexibility to choose either or both based on their needs can help them diversify the impact of taxes on their retirement savings.

The RPB plan allows Roth contributions. For your employees to make Roth contributions, all you need to do is:

  • Work with your payroll provider to initiate post-tax deductions for Roth contributions.

  • Give your employees the RPB contributions explainer so they can understand their choices.

  • Use our Elective Deferral Form for employees to specify their contribution types.

Note that starting in 2026, high earners over 50 years old must make their catch-up contributions as Roth contributions.

Read more about how pretax and Roth contributions work.

Make a difference in your employees’ financial wellness

Following these 5 best practices can make a significant difference in employee retirement preparedness, as well as in your workforce’s overall financial wellness.

To promote and improve employee financial wellness, participation in the plan is the most important step. If you do nothing else, offer access to the RPB plan for all of your eligible employees to start saving as much as they can as early as they can from their paycheck.

Most full- and part-time employees are eligible to participate in the RPB plan. Go to to learn more.

Why is financial wellness so important?

Research has shown that financial wellness plays an important part in workplace success. In a recent survey of US workers, the American Psychological Association found that for more than 70% of respondents, money was the number one source of stress. That high level of stress has a real cost for employers from distraction and lost working time to higher health care expenses.

Proactively engaging your employees about their overall financial wellness can help relieve this stress, but it can also be time and resource intensive. That’s where RPB comes in, with a range of resources we use to promote, encourage, and educate plan participants on financial basics and retirement planning.

RPB financial wellness resources

What are other URJ congregations doing?

In 2022, the National Association for Temple Administration (NATA) and RPB conducted a survey to examine how congregations' retirement benefit policies for their non-contractual employees align with industry best practices.

Learn what your fellow URJ-affiliated congregations are doing. Read the Retirement Benefit Policies Report and watch the webinar.

Questions? Reach out to us if you need help or would like to discuss how to implement these best practices in your organization.

Alyce Gunn
Chief Financial Officer

Robert Perry
Director of Participant and Employer Services

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