Frequently Asked Qustions

1. Who’s sponsoring financial workshops?

Currently, more than 25% of the Fortune 500 and virtually every civilian department of the Federal Government are using financial workshops to educate workers on employee benefits as well as financial, investment and retirement issues. With nearly 76 million Baby Boomers becoming eligible for retirement by 2019, employers are responding to a massive increase in requests from employees for financial, investment and retirement training workshops.

2. Why should we provide financial workshops and what benefits could we expect?

Employers provide financial workshops to:

  • Increase participation in employer retirement plans
  • Improve workers’ chances of retiring early or on time
  • Increase contribution limits for highly compensated employees
  • Help workers improve their personal financial wellness
  • Reduce stress and increase job productivity
  • Increase job loyalty and morale

Satisfy U.S.C. 8350 guidelines

  • Satisfy ERISA 404[c] regulations
  • Help reduce incidence of litigation
  • Reduce the incidence of employee theft

Results of financial education:

  • Increased participation in employer retirement plans
  • Less time spent on personal financial matters
  • Increased productivity
  • Increased job satisfaction
  • Greater pay satisfaction
  • Better physical health
  • Fewer absences

3. When should financial workshops be offered and what should be included?

In a study conducted by Virginia Tech and Texas Tech Universities, workers wanted training covering retirement, investing, budgeting, and debt management. The most common response from employees receiving pre-retirement training is - "We wish we'd had this information years ago." All things considered, we believe comprehensive financial training should begin early in an employee's career. Most requests we receive are for retirement and investment training. However, we have noted a sharp increase in the demand for mid-career workshops. Comprehensive training should include instruction in Cash and Risk Management, Tax and Retirement Planning, Investment Management, and Estate Conservation.

4. What credentials should we look for in financial workshop instructors?

Although many may call themselves "financial planners", very few actually are. We have found the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ curriculum, as developed by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc., provides the most comprehensive training approach in the profession. Years ago we made the strategic decision to offer training only by experienced professionals with the CFP® designation. Many of our instructors have extensive education and training backgrounds along with many years of practical experience. See About Us on our home page for more information about our Faculty.

5. Why should we pay for services others are willing to provide for free?

There are firms using seminars as the platform for selling insurance, investments and related products. In some cases, objectivity is often the first casualty of this practice as the information becomes tainted, favoring their organization's products or services. Some have even resorted to selling attendees' information. Further, many employers believe providing training without compensation may give the impression of endorsing those organizations. In contrast, you can rely on objective, unbiased instruction from Financial Workshops, LLC, professionals at competitive prices. See our Privacy Statement on our home page regarding the utilization of confidential information.

6. Can Financial Workshops, LLC,customize its presentation and materials to include instruction on our unique benefit package?

Absolutely. In fact the majority of our workshops have been customized to include the employer's benefits program. As a partner with your human resource personnel, we can integrate any aspect of the employment package including Health Insurance, Disability Protection, Group Life Insurance, Flexible Spending Accounts, Defined Benefit, and Defined Contribution Plans such as a 401[k] or Thrift Savings Plan. This customized, coordinated approach is highly effective for training newer and mid-career employees alike.

7. Why wouldn’t we utilize our 401[k], Thrift Savings Plan or other retirement plan custodians to provide investment education?

You could, and some have done this. However, a growing number of employers favor the idea of an objective third party educator - an organization not affiliated with any mutual fund, bank, insurance company, or brokerage firm. In addition, most of these firms do not provide instruction in other key areas of financial planning, such as tax, estate planning and risk management. Professional instructors who provide comprehensive, clear and objective information are the stock and trade of Financial Workshops, LLC.

8. Is providing financial education required by law, such as ERISA 404[c]or U.S. C. 8350?

Section 404[c] regulation conditions relief from fiduciary liability on, among other things, the participant or beneficiary being provided, or having the opportunity to obtain, sufficient investment information regarding investment alternatives available under the plan in order to make informed investment decisions. The Department of Labor Interpretive Bulletin 96-1 characterizes this effort as an attempt to encourage employers to provide "valuable investment education" to employees.

2005-U.S.C. 8350 proposes federal agencies develop an educational strategy for Federal Employees. Each agency is to file its educational procedure by November 1st of each year with the Office of Personnel Management.

9. Can attendees receive personalized assistance after the workshop?

Any attendee may request to be referred to a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional in their area. Financial Workshops, LLC, maintains an extensive network of practitioners throughout the United States and most U.S. territories. These practitioners will offer an initial consultation at no charge. Instructions on accessing this service are explained at each training session.

10. Are training manuals provided for all Financial Workshops?

Yes. All program attendees will receive an easy-to-follow workbook re-enforcing all program content, a helpful resource section and a glossary defining key terms. If your workshop is being customized, specific benefit handouts are used as a supplement to our normal workbooks. All customized materials must be pre-approved by your Human Resource Officer and may need to be reviewed by our compliance department.