Inflation got you down? Don’t panic
The price of stuff is going up, which may be the case for some time. Do you also know about these other components of inflation?
Shrinkflation. Companies reduce the size or quantity of their products while charging the same price or even more. One example is paying the same for less sheets of toilet paper (and smaller sheets!). Companies have been doing this for years because people are more sensitive to changes in price than to changes in quantity.
Skimpflation. Instead of simply raising prices, companies skimp on the goods and services they provide. Shoddier service is the result of a labor shortage and rising business costs. For example, it’s now taking longer for packages to be delivered.
The key to coping with inflation is to plan for it.
- Follow a budget. It’s really important to understand where your money goes and to cut out unnecessary expenses.
- Cut back. Try alternate grocery stores, use coupons, eat out less. Look for free and cheap entertainment options.
- Continue to save and invest your money, especially for retirement. You don’t control economic conditions, but you do control your spending and saving habits.
Help secure your account
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is required to access your retirement account through yourMONEY. If you receive a phone call or text message providing a verification code and you aren’t currently attempting to log into your account, please notify us as soon as possible and change your account password.
We also encourage you to add a verbal password to your account as an extra layer of protection. You will need to know this password if you call us to discuss specifics about your account. Simply complete and send in the Telephone Access authorization form from our retirement forms and brochures page or call us to request one.
A Trusted Contact is someone you deem trustworthy who may be contacted by Member Benefits if we are not able to reach you or if we have reasonable belief that you or your account may have been exposed to financial exploitation. The Trusted Contact does not have rights to make changes to your accounts.
Setting up a Trusted Contact is optional. If you are interested, please contact a Member Service Representative at 1-800-279-4030.
Perception Survey 2021
Member Benefits completed its third annual Member Perception Survey to gauge customer satisfaction and understand trends. Says David Kijek, President and CEO, “We’ve worked on improvements to serve you better and looked forward to seeing if our efforts had made a difference. Overall, it looks like you’re telling us they have.”
What first comes to mind when thinking about WEA Member Benefits this year is customer service:
- Customer service (29%)
- Products/services (28%)
- Retirement/retirement planning (23%)
“Trust. I trust you will give me honest answers to my questions. I also trust that you will give me help when I don’t understand something.”
Eighty-eight percent felt Member Benefits has a Very Good or Excellent reputation—an increase over 2020.
Sixty-seven percent of members feel Member Benefits Exceeds or Somewhat Exceeds expectations, a 4% increase from 2020.
Lives up to brand promise
Member opinion of whether Member Benefits lives up to its brand promise remains consistent from 2020 and 2019.
- Always 52% (50%, 51%)
- Often 40% (41%, 40%)
Differing from the previous two years, external factors like COVID-19, the economy, taxes, and politics represent the number two financial stressor for respondents (14%; 6% in 2020, 8% in 2019). The questions surrounding financial security were adjusted slightly for the 2021 survey.
As in 2020, a vast majority of respondents Agree or Strongly Agree that providing excellent customer service is a top priority at Member Benefits.
“One of the financial planners really helped me. It was a priority in timing, and she ‘dropped’ everything to give me advice. I needed the peace of mind she gave.”
Net Promoter Score
The Net Promoter Score, a measure of likelihood to recommend an organization, has been trending upward for the past two years. Member Benefits saw an 8% jump from 2019 (57% in 2021, 53% in 2020, 49% in 2019). A score above 50% is considered excellent.
Top advice from members
Member advice for President and CEO David Kijek this year focused on service and outreach, improving communications such as continuing virtual options and receiving more information via e-mail, increasing investment options, investing in employees, and enhancing personalized service.
We also received positive comments such as:
“Keep the personal communication lines open and available. I love the ability to talk to a real person to get answers.”
“Overall, amazing products…wish I knew about you earlier in my teaching career!”
“In an uneasy world, I feel my hard-earned money is in excellent hands. Thank you for everything you do on behalf of teachers and their loved ones.”
David Kijek states, “We feel good about this survey and believe our organization is continuing to move in the right direction. However, we want to continue to improve, and we truly appreciate the honest feedback our members give us so we can do just that.”
Severe weather WATCH vs WARNING
A severe thunderstorm or tornado watch gives you advance notice that conditions are favorable for dangerous weather. When your area is in a watch, stay alert for changing weather. During a watch, there will be information about what type of weather you might see and the chance of it actually occurring. Risk levels can range from a few storms with hail and high winds to a particularly dangerous situation when deadly tornadoes can occur. Tune in to local news for updates.
A warning is issued when severe weather is about to strike in your area. For severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, and flash floods it means the weather event is happening now and you need to take action immediately.
Review your family emergency plan and check your emergency supply kit so that if a warning is issued, you’re prepared. For more information, go to www.ready.gov.