Increasing Servicemember Roth TSP Re-Enrollment
What was the challenge?
The Federal Government operates a workplace savings program called the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) for all of its employees. While civilian employees are automatically enrolled in TSP, Servicemembers are not. Due to a change in the military pay system, nearly 140,000 active duty Armed Forces members needed to re-enroll in their Roth TSP to avoid indefinite suspension of their contributions.
What was the program change?
OES redesigned the email notification, emphasizing the New Year as a fresh start, identifying the simple steps for re-enrollment, and encouraging action to avoid losing savings.
How did the evaluation work?
The nearly 140,000 Servicemembers who needed to re-enroll were randomly assigned to two groups: half were sent the standard email, and half were sent the redesigned email. Following email distribution DFAS tracked re-enrollment requests.
Standard email sent to participants
Redesigned email sent to participants
The redesigned email shows how OES incorporated specific behavioral insights into the adapted message.
What was the impact?
One week after emails were sent, 22% more Servicemembers re-enrolled in TSP, or at least accelerated their re-enrollment, as a result of the redesigned email. As a result of this success, a modified version of the more effective email was scaled to the entire population, encouraging remaining Servicemembers to act before the deadline.
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- Postscript (PS): Vögele, Siegfried. Handbook of direct mail: the dialogue method of direct written sales communication. Prentice Hall, 1992.