Retirement educators innovate to meet demand during coronavirus
The coronavirus is fundamentally changing the way millions of people live and work. Facing the challenges of the new workplace landscape, King County retirement educators Carmen Johnson and Matt Munson have made innovative adjustments to better meet the needs of employees looking toward retirement.
Carmen and Matt, members of the Benefit Engagement Team supervised by Brian Czerwinski, began modifying their retirement classes, Road to Retirement and Rev Up for Retirement, so they could be offered to employees who are telecommuting or working different schedules.
“We identified a set of urgent challenges facing our employees who need information about retirement,” said Carmen. “Using the tools and technologies at hand, we were able to quickly chart new, more adaptive classes.”
Road to Retirement is geared for employees interested in retiring in the next six months, and on July 8, more than 240 employees helped celebrate National Retirement Planning month by participating through Zoom. Matt and Carmen offered this class at four different times throughout the day, including an early morning and an evening session, to accommodate those with schedules outside normal work hours.
They also recently shifted the Rev Up class—for employees who plan to retire in six months or more—to a Zoom meeting, enabling more than 100 employees to join. Participants said: “It was very well organized and allowed time for questions from the attendees” and “Excellent job of making this event work even though we participated online” and “I appreciated the seminar being online and would suggest keeping this format in future to make it easier to attend for those who would otherwise need to travel some distance to take part.”
“These online classes have been incredibly successful, and now, more people are attending the virtual sessions than previously attended the in-person classes,” said Matt. “We plan to continue expanding our educational offerings and are even considering weekend options.”