April 10th Activity of the Day: The Case of the Missing Millions

Happy Friday!  A 401(k) can be a difficult topic for high school and college students whose idea of long-term thinking might be their plans for this weekend.  This NGPF Activity “Case Study:  401(k) Missing Millions” asks students to play financial detectives to figure out why Boeing’s 401(k) plan is missing millions of dollars.  In the process, students will familiarize themselves with the structure of a 401(k) plan and how not contributing to the plan is “leaving dollars on the table.”

The activity starts by providing students with the “basics” of a 401(k) plan including a definition, a description of how a company match works and an example of how an employee benefits when their company has a match program.  It then provides students with basic case facts about the Boeing plan and asks students to run some calculations to determine how Boeing employees were giving up by not maximizing their contributions.