You can increase employee participation in your 401(k) plan if you beef up your communication program, says a recent survey of nearly 900 plan sponsors, 40% of which had fewer than 500 employees. Here's how use of the most popular methods broke down:

Percentage that Percentage that

Communication method use method rely on method

Word of mouth 100% 24%

Enrollment brochures/plan descriptions 98% 81%

Newsletters/benefits brochures 86% 62%

Meetings/surveys 85% 43%

Company's general-information materials 80% 50%

Personalized statements/illustrations 76% 55%

One-on-one counseling 72% 30%

Audiovisual presentations 67% 24%

Payroll stuffers/posters 53% 23%

Source: "Survey on Employee Savings Plans," Foster Higgins, New York City, 1994.