At the heart and soul of it, the social(k) retirement plan is a 401(k) plan with a social conscious. Businesses and employees alike are looking for ways to make their investments matter. What better way to do that than by using your retirement investments to invest in socially conscious endeavors?
Sometimes referred to as socially responsible investing, or SRI, sustainable investing describes an approach to investing that has financial merit — but that also incorporates environmental and social issues in the investment process. (Sustainable investing is actually a newer term than SRI, though).
In a nutshell, sustainable investing avoids investments in companies that manufacture or sell addictive substances (such as tobacco, alcohol, and gambling) and, instead, seeks out companies engaged in environmental sustainability, planet-friendly, and alternative energy/clean technology efforts. Sustainable investing seeks to invest in companies that promote certain issues of sustainability, such as climate change. These initiatives are often faith-based and seek to assert certain ethical or religious viewpoints into the investment process.
Social(k), on the other hand, goes a step further and combines the power of both sustainability issues and social issues. Businesses are able to choose according to their interests or allow employees to choose according to theirs. That is one thing that makes this type of investing stand out. The good news for businesses interested in presenting this as a retirement investment option to employees is that this promises to be an area of significant growth among investors.
This means that companies who start offering this option now, will be more attractive to top level employees, job seekers, and candidates who are committed to sustainability, and interested in working with companies that share that commitment. As an employer, it is just one more item you can offer that shows the world that your business is one that cares about the planet and protecting the planet today and in the future.
Who Benefits by Offering Social(k) Retirement Plans?
Small businesses that take the step to offer social(k) retirement plans to employees have the most to gain from doing so. Offering retirement benefits to employees is your way of giving back to the people who are the heart and soul of a small business.
Employees give to help grow a business every time they show up for work. Small businesses give back to them by providing them with the building blocks they need to plan for their retirement. Offering social(k) retirement savings options means that you’re giving them the opportunity to use their retirement planning efforts to promote a commitment to the planet for the sake of their children, and their children’s children.
They are able to invest in social initiatives through the social(k) retirement plan with the same ease they would be able to invest in mutual funds with a traditional 401(k) plan.
These are just a few benefits to consider when it comes to offering social(k) benefits to employees.
- Quick and easy plan set up and execution.
- Low administrative fees.
- Administrative guide offered online.
- Offers online processing of payroll contributions.
- Automatic testing online.
- Easy access to plan and employee information via the World Wide Web.
- Loan distribution, roller requests, processing and approvals conducted online.
- Expert support for plan administrator offered via telephone.
It’s easier than ever for businesses to take advantage of this wonderful investment opportunity on behalf of their employees. And your employees are sure to love you for it.
- It also provides employees with certain benefits worth mentioning as well including:
- 24-hour telephone access to accounts.
- Daily account reports.
- Fast, easy online enrollment.
- Interactive control of accounts 24-hours a day.
- Unlimited transfers and reallocations for accounts – online.
- Online educational tools to assist with retirement planning.
It’s important to note, though, that just because an investment vehicle boasts itself as being as socially responsible, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will provide investors with a good return.
What Does Social(k) Have to Offer?
Today, Social(k) has hundreds of funds that use a broad range of social, environmental, and even faith issues in order for businesses and employees to align their retirement assets with their unique beliefs and interests. Most importantly of all, though, is that social(k) is investing in local and global communities.
Incidentally, Forbes reports that community investing is one of the fastest growing investment types within the SRI community. It works by directing capital into communities that are generally underserved by traditional lending and offers low-interest loans so that businesses within the community have access to capital in order to provide valuable community services – particularly those involving health care, housing, childcare, and education.
How to Get Started with You Social(k) Retirement Plans?
Being an employer who is concerned about the world at large, it’s no wonder that you’re interested in promoting socially responsible investing opportunities in your workplace. If you’re interested in offering social(k) retirement plans to your employees, the best option is to take the site tour at ExpertPlan.com to make sure it’s a good fit for your organization. You can also contact the company directly to discuss your SRI options.
Today’s businesses are making the effort to give back now more than ever. Whether it’s giving back to employees, giving back to local communities, or giving back to the planet, there’s no better way to do great things going forward than to always value the importance of giving back. As an investment strategy, social (k) retirement plans offer a way to both seek a financial return and a social good.
Socially responsible investment opportunities allow everyone to give back in smaller ways without feeling like they’re making big sacrifices in order to do so. It’s the small steps like this that make the world a better, safer, and more sustainable place.
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