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

Apr 10, 2015
Activity, Investing, Stocks, Current Events, Case Study

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.

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.