Financial Wellness: Calculating the ROI

Yesterday’s webinar on developing the bottom-line rationale for implementing a financial wellness program is now available. You can listen to the play-by-play, with presenters Matt Gnabasik (Blue Prairie Group) and Matt Iverson (Retiremap), in the video below or just review the slide deck below the video.

For quicker viewing, here are the slides from the webinar:

How Retiremap Won a 1st Place Eddy Award

In case you missed it, this edited video jumps right into our recent webinar, “How Retiremap won a 1st Place Eddy Award,” explaining Retiremap’s award-winning approach to retirement plan education, retirement readiness and financial wellness.

Retiremap Tool Calculates Employers’ ROI on Financial Wellness and Employee Engagement

Using key engagement and behavior change metrics from current Retiremap implementations, new tool provides employers with a custom report detailing the cost-savings + profitability impacts of implementing a financial wellness program.


SAN FRANCISCO, April 2, 2014 -- To help companies cut through the ambiguity surrounding financial wellness savings, Retiremap has developed a tool to calculate the program’s return on investment (ROI), using behavior change data from existing Retiremap implementations. HR professionals and CFOs can learn about the tool and how they can develop their own business case for implementing a financial wellness program in a free webinar on Thursday, April 24:

“Financial wellness programs often promise the moon when it comes to savings, but how relevant are these numbers for a specific employer?” said Matt Iverson, Founder at Boulevard R.  “By combining current research and Retiremap’s established performance metrics, we can now provide retirement plan committees and CFOs with a custom savings forecast based on their retirement plan’s unique profile.”

“The problem with traditional employee financial education is that the group meeting format and the lack of customized and personalized information means that it rarely leads to desired behavioral changes. Since Blue Prairie Group started using Retiremap, we’ve been able to track a series of engagement metrics for our plan sponsor clients that ultimately tie back to improving retirement security which is the ultimate goals,” said Matt Gnabasik, Managing Director of Blue Prairie Group.

Retiremap’s ROI assessment tool looks at the benefit for the plan, participant and company by examining Retiremap’s impact on three key areas of cost-savings and improved company profitability:

  • Financial Wellness
    By providing strategies for employees’ financial goals, as well as delivering interactive tools, Retiremap helps plan advisors or provider representatives have greater impact when serving employees struggling with financial stress.
  • Retirement Readiness 
    By getting employees to save more, employers help ensure participants can retire on time and not have to delay retirement when their disability and healthcare premiums are highest.
  • Employee Engagement
    By implementing a program that demonstrates that the employer cares about employees’ well being, while also promoting the retirement plan’s value, employees become more engaged.  Greater engagement translates into improved profitability by increasing employees’ loyalty, advocacy and willingness to go the extra mile.

“By quantifying the ROI of how Retiremap pro-actively engages employees and measurably improves participant outcomes, we are connecting the art of financial wellness with the financial reality that companies have to operate within,” said Iverson. “Not only is financial wellness the right thing to do for employees, we can now help anyone interested in financial wellness shine a light on the financial return for their unique employee population and employer.”

HR professionals and CFOs can see a sample Retiremap ROI assessment and request one for their company by visiting:



  • 53% of Plan for Your Future iPad workshop attendees decided to double their deferral rate (increasing by an average of 6.3% of pay)
  • 97% of employees feel more engaged with the retirement plan
  • 93% of employees feel the Retiremap program is an excellent new benefit
  • 92% of employees they have helpful tools to reduce financial stress
  • 56% of all employees are engaged in the first 30 days through Plan for Your Future iPad workshops and email campaigns


About Boulevard R
Retiremap ( is the award-winning, independent retirement plan education platform from Boulevard R, using today’s technology to engage employees and measurably improve participant outcomes.  Retiremap’s Plan For Your Future iPad workshops and online campaigns developed with leading behavioral economist Dan Ariely, help employers and plan advisors deliver a financial wellness program with a significant return on investment.  By measuring and documenting the impact of plan education efforts, Retiremap introduces accountability, while simultaneously reducing fiduciary liability.

[Webinar Recording] Engaging Gen X and Gen Y to Boost Retirement Readiness

If you saw the article in PlanAdvisor on the recent Retiremap webinar “Engaging Gen X and Gen Y to Boost Retirement Readiness” you can view it here:


Thanks and let us know if we can help you think through new ways to engage employees to improve their retirement readiness and financial wellness.

Retiremap featured in BenefitsPro

In a recent article published in the BenefitsPro, Retiremap was featured and one of our Founders, Matt Iverson, was quoted.

Behavioral techniques goosing retirement savings   BenefitsPro

You can read the article here:

Some of the statistics included in the article from the Plan For Your Future iWorkshops included:

  • 53 percent of employees increase their salary deferral rate
  • 88 percent of employees say they plan to save more for retirement after using the tool.

If you want to learn more, you can sign up for the Engaging Gen X and Gen Y to boost retirement readiness webinar on Tuesday, February 4th:

[Webinar recording] Kiva’s Award Winning Financial Wellness Program

Enjoy the recorded webinar “Innovator Award Winner Presents Financial Wellness Program” with Britt Huber and Matt Iverson. Learn how Kiva succeeded in improving employee outcomes by using iPads to better engage and boost their financial wellness.

The webinar has been broken into two sections: Presentation and Q&A, accessible through the Playlist on the right of the video.

Kiva + Retiremap Win an Innovator Award from Pensions & Investments/DCIIA

Kiva Wins!

We’re thrilled to announce that yesterday Kiva won an Innovator Award from Pensions & Investments/DCIIA for implementing Retiremap.

Kiva used custom Retiremap iPad® workshops to engage employees and then honed the communications message, based on the data that was generated.

We couldn’t be happier for Britt Huber, the VP of HR, who received the award. Take a listen to her short acceptance speech in front of the roughly 500 people gathered in San Francisco’s Palace Hotel for the Pensions & Investments West Coast DC conference.

Other Innovator Award winners on stage with Britt included leaders from Chrysler, the Federal Thrift Saving Plan, Aloha Petroleum, Pepsi Co. and Rackspace.


Kiva Presents at the DCIIA Academic Forum

At the recent DCIIA (Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association) Academic Forum, Britt Huber from Kiva was asked to share her insights on the behavioral economics aspects of the Retiremap platform with 350 industry professionals.

Kiva is the first plan sponsor to implement Retiremap in iPad® workshops and Britt, the VP of HR, joined a panel of academics to discuss the practitioner’s perspective on how behavioral economics can be used to improve participant outcomes.

Britt spoke about how Retiremap worked with leading behavioral economist Dan Ariely to develop its engagement process and the impact that it had with Kiva’s employees.

The slides below (that’s Prof. Ariely dressed as a bee) are an expanded version of what Britt covered in her presentation and highlight the key areas where Retiremap employs behavior economics/finance principles to get employees thinking about improving their situation and then encouraging them to take action.  The slides also highlight Boulevard R’s initial approach and how we modified it by working with Prof. Ariely to create the engagement process.


In addition to Britt’s presentation, there were two other panelists whose work we found interesting and worth highlighting:

James J. Choi, Yale School of Management
Prof. Choi spoke about several topics which were highly relevant to boosting employee savings rates.

His presentation on his research highlighted two things:

  • While automatic enrollment is a powerful way to get employees participating in a defined contribution plan, 24 months after auto-enrollment, approximately 40% of employees are no longer at the default contribution rate.  Presumably most dialed down the deferral rate, through we weren’t clear what percentage might have actually increased their rates.
  • Since a lot of employees opt-out of the default over time, savings cues are powerful ways to influence how much employees save, to get them back on track.  Prof. Choi gave the following savings cue messages that were given to employees:
    • 1% Anchor Cue
      “For example, you could increase your contribution rate by 1% of your income and get more of the match money for which you’re eligible. (1% is just an example, and shouldn’t be interpreted as advice on what the right contribution increase is for you.)”
    • $11,000 Goal Cue
      “For example, suppose you set a goal to contribute $11,000 for the year and you attained it. You would earn $X more in matching money this year than you’re currently on pace for.”

The result was that with the 1% Anchor Cue, employees actually reduced their savings rate, while with the $11,000 Goal Cue, they significantly increased their savings rate, even if it was just for about 6 months.


Daniel G. Goldstein, Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research & London Business School 

Prof. Goldstein’s research is probably familiar to anyone who follows different strategies to get employees to save more, since it is unique in it’s approach.  Basically, he’s developed a tool to show you how your future, older self looks as a prompt to make your retirement age and the aging process more tangible, thereby increasing the motivation to save more for the future.

Based on Prof. Goldstein’s experiments, he stated that those people who saw a picture of their older selves saved roughly twice as much.

The challenge here, is that just like people don’t like to be reminded that they’re overweight, they also don’t like to be reminded that they’re going to get old (and die).  So the challenge is getting HR and benefits folks to put their employees in an uncomfortable situation of visually modeling their old age.  Also, for folks 5 years from retirement, the simulation probably won’t be much of a contrast. Here’s an example:

Screen Shot 2013-10-24 at 12.02.02 PM


One aspect that doesn’t come across in the image above is that the facial expression of the “older self” got happier the more the savings rate increased, while inversely, the “younger self” got sadder the more the savings rate went up.  Maybe it would work even better if the “younger self’s” facial expression was kept static, so that it didn’t betray the trade-off.

Retiremap attending the P&I West Coast DC conference

Retiremap will be attending the Pensions & Investments West Coast DC conference this coming week from Sunday, October 27 – Tuesday, October 29.

We’re excited because our first iPad® workshop plan sponsor client, Kiva, is up for a P&I Innovator Award. Britt Huber from Kiva is also speaking on the “Evolution of Technology in DC Plan,” and will be highlighting how Kiva used the Retiremap platform to engage their employees and provide a compelling financial wellness and retirement readiness program.

You can check out the agenda and speakers for the upcoming conference here:

P&I Conference iPad


Leading RIA Firm Taps New Retiremap iPad Workshops to Engage and Educate Employees

First advisor-centric iPad app creates fun interactive experience to measurably improve retirement readiness, reaches more employees in less time


SAN FRANCISCO, October 1, 2013 — Leading ERISA retirement consulting firm Blue Prairie Group is now using iPads to educate employees and measurably improve retirement readiness with the Retiremap program from Boulevard R.  The new Retiremap Plan For Your Future iPad workshops offer an independent, employer-centric solution to engage employees, while helping plan advisors reach more employees in less time. A short video overview is available here:

BPG logo without background, 300 dpi

“We successfully implemented the Retiremap employee education software with several of our clients and each implementation has worked as intended. The meetings have been well attended and employees love to receive a customized statement describing their overall retirement readiness and how they can improve it,” said Matt Gnabasik, Managing Director at Blue Prairie Group.  “With each implementation, we provided one-on-one consultations for those employees who are interested. The upshot is that we’re seeing higher employee engagement scores as measured by increased participation and savings rates.”

“Top ERISA-focused advisory firms like Blue Prairie Group, realize the need to innovate on their education and advice model to do a better job of engaging more employees to help make sure they are on track for a secure retirement,” said Matt Iverson, Founder at Boulevard R.  “The industry recognition, with the Pensions & Investments Innovator Award nomination of the first employer to offer our Plan for Your Future iPad workshop, shows that we’re on the right track.”

The Retiremap program was developed with leading behavioral economist and NY Times bestselling author, Dan Ariely from Duke University.  The 30-minute Plan for Your Future workshops provide up to 30 employees at a time with an iPad, allowing them to do a holistic retirement readiness assessment and get a personalized Starter Roadmap.  For employees who cannot participate in the iPad workshops, account activation links are emailed out and they can also access the platform through a custom employer website.


The Retiremap program empowers employers and advisors to:

  • Offer a much more engaging and relevant plan education program
  • Use behavioral economics research from one of the top behavioral economists in the world to drive positive behavior change
  • Save time and increase impact by providing advisors access to employees’ data to use in private, one-on-one meetings
  • Take a holistic financial planning approach by looking at the household situation
  • Identify financial stressors and deliver custom, actionable content to help reduce employees’ stress
  • Measure the impact of our plan education efforts, adding accountability into plan education efforts
  • Provide employees an independent solution that is neither conflicted nor pushes any specific investment product.

“With the arrival of iPads and tablets, the future of plan education has arrived,” said Iverson. “Independent platforms, like Retiremap, deliver an employer-branded solution that reaches more employees in less time, while offering a fun, engaging experience.  The statistics speak for themselves.”


  • 95.2% of employees who start the Retiremap goal-setting process, complete it and get a Starter Roadmap
  • 55.7% of all employees are engaged in the first 30 days through iWorkshops and email campaigns
  • 58.2% of iWorkshop attendees requested to speak with an advisor
  • 53.2% of iWorkshop attendees decided to increase their deferral rate by an average of 6.3% of pay


About Retiremap

Retiremap ( is the leading independent retirement plan education platform from Boulevard R, using today’s technology to measurably improve participant outcomes.  Retiremap’s Plan For Your Future iPad workshops and online campaigns engage more employees, while helping employers and plan advisors drive the retirement plan concept in fresh new ways.  By measuring and documenting the impact of plan education efforts, Retiremap introduces accountability, while simultaneously reducing fiduciary liability.

About Blue Prairie Group

Blue Prairie Group ( is a fee-only investment consulting firm headquartered in Chicago, providing unbiased and objective financial consulting within three main practice areas: ERISA Retirement, Foundations & Endowments and Wealth Management. Blue Prairie Group acts as fiduciaries to all of its clients’ portfolios and is remunerated solely by clients. Blue Prairie Group passionately advocates low cost investments, full fee transparency, and offers a broad service suite for both institutions and individuals. Like any good neighbor, Blue Prairie Group contributes to the community, by giving 5% of pre-tax profit to local charitable organizations.