38 Video Lessons
1 Interactive Quiz
1 Certificate of Completion
Continuing Education Credit

Why Take This Course?

We know that that we have a retirement savings crisis in America and that most employees are woefully underfunded for retirement.

We know that participation rates are too low, that savings rates need to be much higher, and that most employees are not equipped to make smart investment decisions. We also know that fewer investment choices lead to better decision making, high fees can substantially reduce retirement income and that aggressive automation (with things such as automatic enrollment and automatic contribution escalation) works to improve participant outcomes.

We know these things. We have the data. We have the evidence. And yet, in spite of knowing what’s right, many companies still don’t take the necessary steps to make their retirement programs truly effective and successful.

This course provides an in-depth look at behavioral finance concepts, social science and investment research as well as fiduciary trends and best practices for why plans should adopt automatic plan design features in order to drive successful retirement outcomes for employees.

Who Should Take This Course?

Retirement Plan Committee Members & Plan Fiduciaries

Retirement Plan Support Staff (e.g. HR, Payroll or Accounting)

Industry Professionals (e.g. advisors, TPAs and auditors)

Learning Objectives

This is an introductory level course. Upon completion, students will be able to: 

3. Understand adoption rates and industry trends relative to automatic features

4. Identify best practices for designing and implementing an automatic plan design program

  1. Understand behavioral finance concepts and social science research that keeps people from saving

  2. Understand retirement saving challenges such as healthcare expenses and income replacement rates

Course Overview

(Click + to expand for syllabus)

+ Introduction

  • Course Overview
  • Disclaimers

+ Lessons

  • Lesson 1 - Ovarian Cancer Survival Statistics
  • Lesson 2 - 2018 Retirement Confidence Survey Results
  • Lesson 3 - Confidence Is Lacking For Good Reason
  • Lesson 4 – Fears About Retirement
  • Lesson 5 – The Generational Shift in Retirement Income
  • Lesson 6 – Life Expectancy is Increasing
  • Lesson 7 – Healthcare Costs Having Been Increasing Historically
  • Lesson 8 – And Healthcare Cost Are Expected to Grow
  • Lesson 9 – Healthcare Costs Increase Significantly With Age
  • Lesson 10 – Healthcare Costs in Retirement
  • Lesson 11 - The Fiduciary Duty of “Exclusive Purpose"
  • Lesson 12 - Plan Success Metrics
  • Lesson 13 – Why Our Brains Keep Us From Saving More
  • Lesson 14 – Replacement Rates Needed by Income
  • Lesson 15 - Replacement Rates Needed by Income, Con't.
  • Lesson 16 - Starting Early Matters
  • Lesson 17 - Automatic Enrollment Adoption By Plan
  • Lesson 18 - Comparison of Participation Rate
  • Lesson 19 - Automatic Enrollment Opt-Out Rate
  • Lesson 20 – Participation Rates by Plan Demographic
  • Lesson 21 – Setting The Right Default Rate
  • Lesson 22 – Setting The Right Default Rate, Cont.
  • Lesson 23 – Default Rates
  • Lesson 24 – A Negative Impact of Automatic Enrollment
  • Lesson 25 – Automatic Escalation Adoption By Plan Size
  • Lesson 26 – Automatic Escalation Opt-Out Rates
  • Lesson 27 – % of Participants Increasing Deferrals Annually
  • Lesson 28 – The Importance Of A High Escalation Cap
  • Lesson 29 – Participant Investing Trends
  • Lesson 30 – Protecting Participants From Themselves
  • Lesson 31 – Proper Default Fund Utilization
  • Lesson 32 – Successful Implementation of Automatic Plan Features
  • Lesson 33 – A Real World Example
  • Lesson 34 – Project Summary – Gender
  • Lesson 35 – Project Summary - Additional Savings
  • Lesson 36 – Project Summary - Additional Monthly Income
  • Lesson 37 – Project Results
  • Lesson 38 – Final Thoughts

+ Final Exam

  • 12 Questions

Required Survey

Continuing Education Credits


This course has been approved for 1 hour of general CFP® CE credit.*


This course has been approved for 1 hour of general Fi360 CE credit.


This program has been  approved for 1 (HR (General)) recertification credit hours toward aPHR™, aPHRi™, PHR®, PHRca®, SPHR®, GPHR®,  PHRi™ and SPHRi™ recertification through the HR Certification Institute.


This program is valid for 1 PDC for the SHRM-CP℠ or SHRM-SCP℠.

*Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S.