Dave Ramsey is one of America’s most trusted experts on personal finance. He’s written five best-selling books on personal finance, and his daily radio show boasts more than 8.5 million listeners. Now, Ramsey’s SmartDollar program—designed to teach sound financial principles so retirement plan participants can become retirement-ready—is being provided to plan sponsors by Peoria’s Alliance Benefit Group (ABG).

“For many years, our firm has been aware of the impact of financial fitness on retirement plan participants’ ability to save for retirement,” says Brenda Stubbs, retirement strategies consultant at ABG. “When we were introduced to the David Ramsey program, we saw that it covered education for personal financial fitness in an easy-to-digest, motivational program—and welcomed the opportunity to distribute it.”

According to Stubbs, a large percentage of Americans are simply not prepared for retirement. Seventy percent are living paycheck to paycheck, while 24 percent of the average paycheck goes to pay off non-mortgage debt. In addition, about 69 percent of 401(k) participants have less than $50,000 in their retirement plan.

Because they are seeing low participation and contribution rates, businesses are concerned their employees are not saving enough for retirement. As a result, financial difficulties could lead to lost productivity, increased healthcare costs and higher employee turnover rates.

SmartDollar aims to dramatically improve those numbers. The program employs 17 video lessons to show participants how to eliminate debt, budget, save for emergencies, spend wisely and of course, save for retirement. It’s fun, interactive and inspirational—and it allows participants to work at their own pace through a smartphone, laptop or tablet.

It’s also effective. Of the more than 2.5 million past participants in Ramsey’s programs, an average of $5,300 of debt is paid off and $2,700 in savings is achieved in just 90 days, Stubbs says. “Dave Ramsey’s SmartDollar is a proven program that works. We are proud to be able to deliver this program to plan sponsors across Illinois.” iBi

To arrange for a free, confidential financial wellness survey of your employees, call (309) 495-1978. For more information on SmartDollar, visit smartdollar.com.