Employees Niccole Scholer and Holly Horne find a minute to talk with Anserve president Rob Ward during one of the company’s busy workdays.
When people get the message about saving, they pass it on
At Anserve, a family-owned answering service that’s been in business for nearly 50 years, 20 percent of the employees have opened a myRA®, the U.S. Treasury’s simple, safe, and affordable starter retirement savings account.
"We’d like to have 100 percent enrolled," says Rob Ward, Anserve’s president and son of the firm’s founders.
At a time when many people are not saving enough - or at all -- for retirement, why have so many employees at Anserve embraced myRA? Rob says it comes down to good communication.
Anserve provides information about myRA to all new hires, mentions the retirement saving option in quarterly emails to employees, and hangs myRA posters around the office. Word-of-mouth has also been important; once a few Anserve employees opened accounts, others became interested. Before long, 18 of the company’s 90 employees had signed up.
"We thought myRA was a great way to get our people into saving mode," Rob explains. "A lot of people may want to save, but don’t. Getting started is simple, and our HR and payroll say it’s very easy to deal with, and pretty smooth."
As leaders of a family-owned business, Anserve’s management feels a responsibility to treat employees well and help them succeed. While the company offers health care benefits and tuition reimbursement, retirement savings benefits have been out of reach.
myRA provides a way for Anserve employees to start saving, and this year’s open enrollment period will bring with it a fresh opportunity for the company to share information with their employees about the ins and outs of signing up for an account.
“It definitely gives us peace of mind as a company,” Rob says. “We have a decent amount of younger people working here, and the earlier they start saving, the better.”
Taking good advice
Holly Horne, an Anserve employee since 2001, appreciates the professional opportunities and guidance that her employers provide. Recently, they encouraged her to apply for a managerial role.
“I didn’t want the responsibility right away, but the Wards pushed me to do it. They said I would be great for the job, because of the way I am with the customers” Holly says.
Now a senior evening manager at Anserve, Holly discovered that the Wards were right about her fit for the job. When they recommended that she start saving a little from each paycheck with myRA, she also took that advice to heart.
“I wouldn’t say I was a full-blown spender, but I wasn’t really saving,” Holly remembers. “I would just pay my bills, and if I had a little bit left over, maybe I’d treat myself. But at this point in my life, it’s really important to save.”
With no costs to open and no fees, myRA is a flexible savings option that allows savers to contribute as much or as little as they’d like to their accounts. Holly started contributing $10 every week to her myRA account, then increased the amount to $20. Now, she saves $25 per week.
Senior evening manager Holly Horne and shift manager Olivia Perez are two of the Anserve employees who have signed up for myRA
Anserve voicemail manager Niccole Scholer admits that she has a hard time putting herself first. Whether it’s raising her son or mentoring fellow employees, she often finds herself focusing on the needs of others.
But when she heard about myRA, she recognized a good opportunity to do something positive for herself. She decided to take the first step toward a secure retirement by putting $10 from each paycheck into her myRA.
“My siblings and I worry about my mother; my mom and her siblings worried about my grandfather,” Niccole says. “I wanted to start saving in a myRA so my son wouldn’t have the burden of working too hard just to take care of me someday.”
myRA accounts carry no risk of losing money, and they safely earn interest. In case of emergency, savers can access their contributions without tax or penalty. The safety of the account makes it a great way to get started on the path to a more secure financial future.
“I figured I’d start out with $10 dollars and then see,” Niccole continues. “Now I’m going to add another $10. Some people spend more than that on coffee every week.”
Looking toward the future
Recognizing that his employees may eventually move on in their careers, Rob wants to position them for future success, even if they leave Anserve for other jobs. Because myRA accounts stay with the saver, not the employer, workers who open them are well-positioned to continue saving wherever they find themselves working.
“We know we might not be the stopping point for people, so we try to create a path to growing here they can use to get to the next point,” Rob says. “If they leave here having started saving for their future, we can feel good about that.”