Celebrating 20 Years in Business • 2004 - 2024

Tools to Help Employees With Their Retirement Plans

Technology is transforming the retirement transition for everyone, including those without financial advisers. Digital tools are interactive experiences designed to engage users with a combination of personalization and gamification, making their retirement experience both real and relatable.

DC retirement plans are meeting participants on their own ground, wherever they are in terms of life cycle, preferences and learning styles. The entire industry itself has embraced a goal of improving personalization and sharpening communication to achieve higher participant engagement.

Made to measure

Personalization is a dominant trend in participant education, supported by advances in data and technology. The ease with which participants can upload data to personalize retirement planning continues to progress. Gamification exercises, such as showing how choices affect retirement goals by using inputs and assumptions, are another useful tool to further engage learning and planning.

Many plans still face the persistent challenge of trying to educate across many different personality types and a wide range of preferences, from those who want to be heavily involved in their 401(k) decisions to those who would rather leave their retirement vehicles alone to grow steadily on their own. How should a plan differentiate among participants in its treatment of such diverse attitudes? One possible solution is to default to the least active and enable those who want to be more active through a customized approach.

Providing a DC plan that offers pensionlike income can have a profound impact on participant behavior, for instance, by intensifying their commitment to their employer. Employers can dangle a track to lifetime income as bait for recruiting more talented employees ahead of the competition. Meanwhile, the promise of future security promotes retention and furthermore allows participants to retire on time. A reluctance to retire because of worry about outliving assets is a sorry predicament for an employee; it also has negative repercussions for the employer, because keeping people employed longer than expected can dramatically increase workforce costs.

Making personalized planning tools available and creating effective education campaigns can make retirement feel more immediate and attainable. Participants already understand the importance of retirement preparedness. Adding retirement income may require additional education, but it provides more than just improved financial security; it also signals to employees that their employer has made a’ long-term investment in their well-being.

The retirement conversation

Initiate the retirement income conversation well in advance of participants’ key decision dates. In addition to focusing on timing, plans also need to consider the participant’s unique experience.

Technology can be helpful. New digital tools translate savings into future income. For example, a record-keeping platform can provide a retirement income planner that incorporates personalized data, which is fully integrated with the participant experience online and through an app.

First, consider taking a multichannel approach to communication. It is unlikely one video will reach everyone to the same extent as, say, an email can; different participants consume information in different ways.

It is paramount that communications come from a source the participant recognizes and trusts, namely their employer, rather than the plan provider. Make sure to brand the communication from the employer, because that is where participants look for reassurance.

Finally, the content must be relevant to the end user. You will probably need different targeted campaigns directed at various audiences. Participants who are in the early days of their careers do not respond to the same messages as do those closer to retirement.

Embrace new thinking

Education about retirement income is a relatively new concept, because DC plans have not historically offered that type of option. It is incumbent on you to make sure that your employees have the tools they need to understand their investments and how to avail themselves of the income benefit. Words matter. Orient people to the benefit, its optionality and flexibility.

Plans are taking a more holistic view of participants’ individual circumstances to tailor solutions that provide a greater degree of lifelong financial security.

Talk to a qualified retirement professional about tools and strategies to engage your employees in securing their futures.


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Emily Gooding

Payroll Specialist

Emily is graduating in May with a BA in Business Administration from Lander University. She has gained valuable experience as a payroll intern for BMW. We are so excited to have her on the team and  to see her excel in her role as a Payroll Specialist.

Madison Capps​

Payroll Specialist

Madison received a BS in Psychology from Southern Illinois University in 2019. Since then, she has been working as a supervisor at Starbucks and earning her second degree, a BA in Administration and Accounting, from USC Aiken in the fall. She will be joining us as a Payroll Specialist and a valuable addition to our Paysmart team.

Kristen Wilby

Payroll Specialist

Before moving to South Carolina with her husband, Kristen worked as a Sales & Marketing Specialist for Premium King in Feasterville, PA, where she gained valuable experience in strengthening the brand and generating new business. Kristen also brings to our team several years of professional experience as an Executive Assistant and as an Office Manager, where she was first introduced to payroll. Kristen’s knowledge and her innate ability to establish genuine relationships contribute greatly to the team as we continue to grow and serve our clients.

Meg Whitaker

Payroll Specialist

Meg brings nearly twenty years of professional experience to the team. Most recently, she worked as a Payroll & Benefits Specialist in Centennial, Colorado. She and her husband recently moved back to the Carolinas for his job, and we were fortunate to find her! Before Colorado, Meg worked at CPI Security Systems in Charlotte, NC, for twelve years as a Billing Coordinator and Senior Administrative Assistant. She also gained three years of experience as an HR Assistant for a law firm in Fayetteville, NC. Her expertise significantly adds to our team and benefits our clients as we continue to grow!

Rachel McClaran, EA


Rachel plays a crucial role in developing Paysmart’s core processes and procedures, as well as overall strategy within the company. Rachel graduated from Bob Jones University and is an active member of the Junior League of Greenville and the South Carolina Association of CPAs. Her desire to serve her community has led her to become involved with several nonprofit organizations and to serve as the past Vice President of Finance for the Junior League of Greenville. Outside of the office,Rachel enjoys spending time on the water and traveling with her husband and their two children.

Hina Rogers

Payroll Specialist

Hina joined the Paysmart team in August 2022. She grew up in Portland, Oregon, before moving to Greenville, SC. She earned both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in education. After college, she represented her alma mater as an enrollment counselor in the Southeast and Western states. She enjoys traveling, road trips, cooking, and quality time with her family. Hina looks forward to serving your company’s needs! 

Sharon Quantrille

Payroll Specialist

Sharon has spent several years in the accounting industry and has completed courses to hone her skills as a Payroll Specialist. Her background as an educator, professional musician, and Human Resources Generalist has contributed to her communication skills, commitment to professionalism, and organizational skills that make her a tremendous benefit to her Paysmart clients and colleagues. A graduate of Bob Jones University with a B.S. degree in Music Education, a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance and a Human Resources Generalist Certificate, Sharon spends her free time gardening, hiking, playing the piano, and spending time with her four adult children.

Haleigh Bates

Payroll Specialist

Haleigh joined our team in May of 2022 as a payroll specialist. Haleigh has over eight years of experience helping personal and small business clients with their financial needs. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Georgia Southern University. She enjoys spending time with her husband and their three children, Caden, Addie, and Mason.  She likes to go hiking, spend time at the beach, and volunteer at her church in the children’s ministry. 

Courtney Rossello

Payroll Tax Manager

Courtney joined the team at Paysmart Payroll Services in September 2020.  She was raised in Simpsonville, SC, and graduated from Clemson University in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a concentration in public administration.  Courtney began her payroll career in 2011 and currently works in the payroll tax department at Paysmart.  She strives to make every client feel comfortable knowing their payroll taxes and tax returns are handled accurately and efficiently.  Courtney is also a volunteer Treasurer for a local middle school in Greenville County.  In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering with special needs children, road trips, and spending time with her two daughters. 

Emily Hargrave

Senior Payroll Specialist

Emily received her bachelor’s degree in music from West Coast Baptist College. Since her college days, Emily has gained nearly 18 years of experience in office operations and project management. Emily joined Paysmart in 2017 and enjoys using her skills to support clients and the Paysmart team.

 At heart, Emily is a small-town country girl from the Midwest but is happy now to call the Upstate home, where she doesn’t have to endure harsh winters. Emily’s favorite ways to spend her free time are reading a good book, challenging herself with puzzles, and doing her best not to kill the plants in her garden.

Julie Shull

Client Success Specialist

Julie is the Client Success Specialist for Paysmart Payroll.  She joined the team as a Payroll Specialist in March of 2020. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from NC State University and earned an MBA from Gardner-Webb University while playing on the GWU women’s tennis team. After starting her career with Wilson Sporting Goods as a Financial Analyst, she took a few years off to raise twin boys until she began working for Greenville County Schools in 2014.  Julie enjoys spending time with her family and outdoor activities.

Brad Detandt

Payroll Administrator

A graduate of Northland International University with a BA in Counseling, Brad Detandt leads the day-to-day operations of the Paysmart team. He is eager to grow the firm’s client portfolio. He brings a diverse employment background in retail, manufacturing, nonprofit ministries, and business development, with
a specialized focus on team development and process improvement. Brad’s professional – and personal – mission is to “Be Great. Serve!” Brad enjoys spontaneous activities and weekend trips to state parks with his wife Miranda and his three children.

Stephen C. Stokes

Managing Partner

Stephen has more than 14 years’ experience working with individuals and businesses to meet their tax, accounting, and payroll needs. He has been the managing partner of Paysmart Payroll Services since January 2009. He is a licensed certified public accountant in South Carolina and Georgia. Stephen is also a member of the South Carolina Association of CPAs, the Georgia Society of CPAs, the American Institute of CPAs, and the Professional Association of Small Business Accountants. He has a bachelor’s degree from Bob Jones University and a master’s degree from Georgia State University. Stephen was born and raised near Atlanta, Georgia and moved to Greenville, South Carolina, several years ago. He enjoys spending time with his wife, Tiffani, and daughters, Madeline and Julianna. He is actively involved in his church and enjoys reading, sports, and other outdoor activities.