For most American workers, retirement planning is a part of the conversation from early on in their careers. You enter the workforce with your first “real” job and shortly thereafter, ideally, you begin to put money away in a retirement fund, usually supported by your employer.
And while that’s a reality for many people, it’s often different for those in the trucking industry. But that doesn’t make it any less important.
Consider that retirement planning, through outlets like 401(k)s, stock options, or other retirement funds, does much more than allow a person to plan for retirement.
In fact, there’s more to “retirement” planning than just retirement. When you’re able to set up an account and begin socking away money for your future, it opens up a world of possibilities for your present, too.
When you know that you’re setting yourself up for comfort down the road, you begin to plan a little differently — allowing you and your family to make decisions about your work, plan vacations, and even invest in big-ticket items such as a home or a car.
That’s why it’s essential for businesses, including trucking companies, to take steps to help their employees through the retirement planning process. It creates a sense of peace about the future, one that is truly invaluable for workers.
The Positive Impact of Retirement Planning for Truckers
The financial variables at play in the trucking industry are unique. Companies deal with a high rate of turnover, which can be detrimental for both employers and drivers.
“You can make a lot of money while you’re driving,” says Justin Jolls, Director of Operations at WorkHound. “But those opportunities are often few and far between. When drivers churn and move to a new company, it’s expensive for them and the company. During the transition between companies, a driver’s timeframe for earning is shortened, meaning potential income for a given month may be reduced.”
Beyond the financial considerations unique to trucking, drivers are also thinking through a different set of daily scenarios than most people. Offering them retirement planning benefits can allow them to broaden their horizons and find stability, making them less likely to leave a company.
“For drivers, they’re thinking through things like ‘where am I going to sleep tonight’ or ‘where can I eat,’” Jolls says. “Having a retirement fund or support in planning for retirement expands their time horizons so that they can make better predictions for the future. If they know that in 20 or 30 years, they’re going to be able to retire, they’re going to be able to make decisions with their lives that will better affect their future.”
How Offering Retirement Planning Benefits Businesses
There are many benefits for drivers when it comes to retirement planning, but offering support and services related to retirement planning also directly benefits companies.
Retirement programs don’t have to look the same for every business, either. One company may be able to offer a retirement plan with matching contributions, while another might provide education about financial planning and assistance opening a retirement fund.
Regardless of what shape your company’s retirement program takes, it’s truly the thought and investment that counts.
“Offering a retirement program of some sort shares with drivers that the work they’re doing now is important enough to you to invest in their future,” Jolls says. “That level of confidence and stability makes a real difference for drivers.”
This is especially important in that first 30 to 90 days drivers are working with a company when they’re most likely to leave if they’re unsatisfied.
“We know that the highest rate of turnover occurs within the first 90 days,” Jolls says. “If something doesn’t sit well with them, they’re going to begin looking for new opportunities. Having a retirement plan in place and explaining the benefits drivers can expect shows them they are valued and offers them an incentive to stick with your company for the long haul.”
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