Recently I interviewed Selby Mashakova, Partner Success Manager at The Online 401(k). I’m hoping she can clarify some points that have been buzzing around the Internet around the looming retirement crisis and what she is doing to help.
Victor: What is your role at The Online 401(k)?
Selby: I manage partner relationships and work to increase lead generation from our Advisor and Payroll partners by building long lasting relationships based on mutual trust. For example, on Thursday, September 18th, I’m doing a webinar explaining our referral program and our objectives to advisors and payroll partners.
Victor: We keep hearing or reading about a “looming retirement crisis” – what is the retirement crisis? Why is it important?
Selby: It used to be that most people had access to the following three benefits: Social Security, pension and 401(k) savings and personal savings (what was called a three legged stool approach to retirement). Now we’re not sure that Social Security will last and not many people are fortunate enough to have a pensions or personal savings.
So now the focus is on 401(k) savings as a means to retire because that’s likely the primary source of retirement savings for most Americans in the near future. The retirement crisis is real; if we don’t start saving now, we’re going to have generations of people who are not ready to retire. There are 40 million Americans that currently don’t have a way to save at work. Nearly half of all American workers have less than $10K in savings and 1 in 3 workers have not saved for retirement at all!
Victor: How can The Online 401(k) help solve the retirement crisis?
Selby: I see that we can help in three ways.
First, by offering an affordable savings solution to small businesses. The solution is bolstered by technology and supported by flat-fees as opposed to asset-based fees that can erode personal savings.
Second, by spreading the word about the crisis via social media and by working on a documentary, Broken Eggs film – where a group of people from our company traveled all over the United States to talk to real Americans to find out what they’re doing about retirement.
And then the third way is by offering incentives to clients and partners to get additional revenue from referring The Online 401(k) to potential clients because that will help increase the number of small businesses that offer 401(k) savings to their employees at work.
Victor: Sounds like you’re all very passionate about this; would you say that this is The Online 401(k)’s higher purpose?
Selby: Our goal is to increase the total number of Americans that have the opportunity to save and we are not going to stop until we get there. We are putting so much effort, time and resources into fighting for small businesses, from the documentary to helping to pass fee regulations, and are all driven by this higher purpose.
Victor: How can the average American get the word out and support our higher purpose or avert the retirement crisis?
Selby: They can start by educating themselves on the retirement options that are available to them. Take a proactive step, talk to your employer and encourage them to join in to the movement and offer their employees the ability to save at work. Starting the conversation by spreading the word on social and business networking sites will help the cause!
Thank you to Selby for taking the time to discuss this important issue. If you’re reading this article and find yourself in tune with our objectives and you are working with an advisor or payroll provider, please share this link with them! This could be a way you could be a part of solving the retirement crisis.