Next Generation Thinking - Participant Engagement

Gamifying retirement planning, video games, games

Humans are game players

We’re hardwired to compete, solve problems, and achieve goals. Enter gamification: the art and science of applying game design to engage and motivate employees. While it has had success with all demographics, it has proven especially effective with millennials, who have grown up with the Internet and online games (earning the label “digital natives”). In the last few years, gamification has entered the mainstream as a proven business strategy.

DC Implications: Gamifying retirement planning

Saving and investing for retirement is no game. However, some DC providers are leveraging gamification techniques to make a serious subject more approachable and actionable. It’s all about engaging people in the process and helping them make educated choices about the future.

Traditional participant campaigns are being supplemented or replaced by interactive alternatives. It could be a mobile app or online feature that enables participants to visualize different scenarios for retirement success based on their saving and investing activity.

Numerous online calculators use gaming techniques—such as a retirement “number” or “score”—to motivate employees to save more, invest appropriately, and achieve higher levels of success. Once they are engaged, providers have a better opportunity to help educate and improve decision making.

Providers are incorporating peer comparison features to tap into participants’ competitive fires. For example, companies may implement a contest that pits different locations or work teams against one another to see which group can increase its plan participation, deferral amounts, or knowledge of retirement investing best practices.

This is an excerpt of an article originally published by T. Rowe Price in the RPAG IMPACT Fall 2015 magazine.

ACR#157926 10/15