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Sponsor Spotlight: Cisco Systems

Scott Knowles


Senior Manager, Global Benefits

Cisco Systems

Episode Guest 


Financial Wellness; Don't Let the Perfect Be the Enemy of the Good!

Guest: Scott Knowles

Scott Knowles, the internal architect of the Financial Wellness program at Cisco Systems stopped by the 401(k) Fridays Podcast to share his experience to help other employers who are considering going down a similar path. He provides candid perspectives on the why behind their program, how they rolled it out and what they plan to do in the future to keep improving upon their early successes!


My plan is to conduct at least another three or four employer interviews on the podcast this year.  If you have done something interesting in your retirement plan that you feel other employers or for that matter the retirement industry could benefit from knowing about, shoot me an email at, we would love to hear more about it and potentially have you or someone from your team join me on the podcast!  

Before we get started, just a quick reminder to provide your input on the one question you have always wanted to ask your employees but have been afraid to.  Go to to learn more and for the link to the survey.  

Guest Bio

Scott is the Senior Manager of Global Benefits, Financial Wellness and Long-Term Savings at Cisco Systems.  Over the last 11 years he has worked to:

  • Design and execute Cisco's Financial Wellness strategy providing our employee's with a productive, personalized experience that enables them to create their own journey to optimal financial health that's most relevant to them and their family. 

  • Execute program strategy and design, administration, compliance, communications, participant experience, vendor management and benchmarking of the Cisco 401k, non-qualified deferred compensation and acquired defined benefit programs. Identify marketplace trends and best practices to maintain a best in class program that meets Cisco’s benefits philosophy. 

  • Facilitate quarterly fiduciary Cisco 401k Administration Committee meetings consisting of senior level executives from across the business functions. 

  • Serve in a consultative role supporting country HR managers related to compliance, administration, and communications of the Canadian and Puerto Rico retirement savings programs. 

  • Participate in the development and rollout of a global retirement governance structure across Tier 1 countries in several theatres including AsiaPac, LatAm and EMEA. Utilized an external global consultant to assist with gathering marketplace intelligence and best practices. 

  • Strategically align and influence program needs and requirements with various business partners including Treasury, Payroll, Finance, Accounting, Strategic Spend Management and Human Resources IT departments. 

  • Manage complex implementation timelines involving multiple work streams resulting from the selection of new vendors for key benefit programs. Led the vendor search project which included cross-functional team participation.

  • Responsible for the post integration of target organization retirement program resulting from an acquisition. Requires ability to manage multiple projects, technical and compliance knowledge of plan terminations or mergers, ability to manage external vendors, and employee communications. 

Prior to Cisco he was provided HR consulting at Deloitte, was a consultant with PwC and a 401(k) Plan Administrator with Watson Wyatt.  

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