When John Ludwig was called in to assess the retirement plan of a large electrical contractor in Indiana, it had a relatively low rate of participation, about 55%. The 600 employees earned on average between $40,000 and $50,000, comfortably above the national median salary for individuals. They should have been able to afford contributing enough to receive the employer match of $1,500 a year. So it was strange that so many weren't contributing to the plan at all.
But when Ludwig examined how the company worked, it became clear to the Raymond James advisor: most of the employees did not go to a central office. Almost all were based out of their trucks, going directly from home to their on-site jobs, and were never near the human resources office to drop off their 401(k) enrollment form. "What do you think happened to it?" Ludwig asked. "They're going to throw it in the truck and forget about it. There's nothing to help them understand why it's important, to a build a level of interest in the plan."
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