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401(k) Education that Inspires Participation

401(k) Education

What would you say if someone you cared about asked whether they should participate in their 401(k)?

Would you reply, “Up to you” and go on your way, or would you respond “YES!” and take the time to explain its many benefits? If you fall into the latter category, congratulations! You’re a potential 401(k) Champion®.

What’s that, you ask?

The 401(k) Champion® Award

The 401(k) Champion® Award shines a light on those who understand the value of their 401(k)s enough to encourage friends, family, and co-workers to learn about how to take retirement security into their own hands.

The award’s purpose is to energize 401(k) participants to learn more about 401(k)s; encourage a dialogue about 401(k)s and retirement security; champion financial security; and help employers share their 401(k) benefits with employees.

As part of Jackson, Grant Investment Advisers’ financial literacy pro-bono efforts, founder Julie Jason created the 401(k) Champion® Competition in 2018. She recognized that there were awards that honored 401(k) plan sponsors, but none that focused on 401(k) participants. Three winners will each be awarded a cash prize of $1,000 and the title of 401(k) Champion® by answering two questions:

  1. If you were to advise co-workers on why they should participate in (and/or maximize) their 401(k)s, what would you say?
  1. What actions have you taken to inspire non-participants to participate in the 401(k)?

Why Peer-to-Peer Messaging Is Important

The 401(k) Champion® Award recognizes the value of peer-to-peer financial education and mentorship at the grassroots level.

For example, 2021 401(k) Champion® Kiersten Peshek, adviser for Citrine Capital, said: “It brings me a lot of joy to help folks save and invest for their future, and winning this award was like the icing on the cake. I am grateful to be recognized and I hope it encourages other folks to save and invest to meet their goals.”

Another 2021 401(k) Champion®, Robert Brokamp, senior adviser, author and podcaster at The Motley Fool, also attested to the award’s positive impact. “I love the spirit of the 401(k) Champion® Award,” he explained. “It acknowledges that everyday employees can be motivators and educators, improving retirement security for themselves and their coworkers.”

“The stories we hear from 401(k) Champions® demonstrate the power of mentorship in saving for retirement,” Jason said.A message from one 401(k) participant to another can be more powerful than reading a brochure, attending an employee enrollment session, or trying to navigate an online tool.”

If this sounds like you, I encourage you to apply by Thursday, Oct. 20, the closing date for applications. And don’t forget to spread the word. Go to for more details.

Julie Jason, JD, LLM, is Founder & Chief Investment Officer of Jackson, Grant Investment Advisers, Inc.