401(k) Provider Offers Cash Incentive to Start Saving

The first 401(k) cash-back program pays you to save.

401k is spelled out on top of four stacks of coins that get progressively higher.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

You could potentially earn a cash incentive just by saving for retirement. Human Interest, a 401(k) provider for small and mid-size companies, is now paying participants to save, providing cash for those who need it the most. 

Considering half of mothers have little retirement savings, and Gen Xers just aren't saving enough for retirement, Human Interest’s (k)ickstart initiative could prove to be a much needed push for individuals to begin long-term saving in employer-sponsored retirement plans. 

Specifically designed for first time retirement contributors, (k)ickstart was created by Human Interest “to help turn potential savers into savvy savers.” 

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Currently, 74% of Americans say they can’t count on Social Security benefits when planning retirement income, leading them to worry about their long-term financial stability, according to the latest Quarterly Market Perceptions Study from Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America. In fact, the study also found that 66% of Americans worry that unless they increase their retirement savings soon, they won’t be able to afford a comfortable retirement

By launching the (k)ickstart initiative, Human Interest hopes to help individuals start saving for retirement as early as they can, in order to get the decades of life they want. 

The new program is available to anyone in an employer-sponsored 401(k) or 403(b) provided by Human Interest Inc, who is making at or below the U.S. median wage of $60,000. The program offers 3% cash back to participants contributing at least 8% to retirement savings over a 12-month period. 

The minimum amount that can be rewarded is $100 and the maximum is $250. Rewards are received in the form of a gift card via email, thanks to a new provision in the SECURE Act 2.0Section 113 that allows employers to offer financial incentives, like low-dollar gift cards, to boost employee participation in workplace retirement plans. The program’s structure is similar to that of a cash-back credit card’s rewards structure, something many individuals are already familiar with. 

Along with this cash incentive, all Human Interest plan participants will receive access to a financial wellness curriculum to further assist them in their retirement savings journey. The curriculum includes webinars and a 10-part series of financial wellness tips and tools. 

“We are using the same rewards model that people enjoy in their daily lives, akin to cash back credit cards, to encourage employees to actively save for a healthy retirement. That is why we are now the first and only retirement provider to offer a cash back program to incentivize individuals to save.” said Jeff Schneble, CEO of Human Interest in a company press release.

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Erin Bendig
Personal Finance Writer

Erin pairs personal experience with research and is passionate about sharing personal finance advice with others. Previously, she was a freelancer focusing on the credit card side of finance, but has branched out since then to cover other aspects of personal finance. Erin is well-versed in traditional media with reporting, interviewing and research, as well as using graphic design and video and audio storytelling to share with her readers.