Study Shows Employers Feel Greater Sense of Responsibility for the Financial Future of Their Employees Following the Recession
The study finds that the vast majority of employers (94 percent) believe it is important to retain older employees for a longer period of time before they retire in light of the talent and skills they possess. In an effort to retain these employees, 50 percent of employers surveyed now offer flexible or customized work schedules, 33 percent are implementing education around retirement income and health care topics, 32 percent offer continuing education and development opportunities, 22 percent give employees the opportunity to work remotely, and 21 percent are offering extended benefits to older employees.
“Longer life expectancies and baby boomers’ desire or need to keep working are leading to an aging population of American employees that will require more age-friendly workplaces and benefit plans designed to meet the unique needs of multiple generations,” said
Employers also feel, almost unanimously (98 percent), that attracting younger employees is important in order to broaden the talent and skills of their workforce. According to the study, six out of 10 employers cite retirement benefits among the top factors that help attract new talent (59 percent) and that create employee loyalty (58 percent), second only to health care benefits (69 percent and 73 percent respectively).
Employers Feel Increased Responsibility for Financial Well Being of Employees
As many employers are evolving to meet the needs of multigenerational workforces, coming out of the recession they are also feeling an increased sense of responsibility towards the financial future of their employees. Following the recent economic downturn, 59 percent of employers feel a greater responsibility to help employees meet their financial goals. More than half (53 percent) feel this responsibility includes providing both financial benefit plans as well as access to financial education and advice.
When asked why they offer financial benefit plans, beyond helping attract (68 percent) and retain (76 percent) talent, nearly seven out of 10 (68 percent) employers cited doing so out of concern for their employees’ financial well-being, and 64 percent indicated that doing so was part of their company’s core values. Remaining competitive (39 percent) and helping employees be more productive (39 percent) are also among the top reasons.
Recession and Uncertainty of Entitlements Places Increased Importance on Financial Benefits, Ignites Positive Savings Actions Among Employees of All Ages
Since the recession began, nearly half (47 percent) of employers have seen an increase in the frequency that prospective employees inquire about the financial benefit plans offered by their company. Employers have also observed a number of behavioral shifts in terms of how current employees are engaging with their retirement benefit plans. When compared to prior to the downturn:
- 58 percent of employers find that employees approaching retirement are taking a more active, hands-on approach to their financial benefit plans.
- 36 percent find that younger employees are enrolling earlier into financial benefit plans.
- 26 percent find that employees are contributing enough to receive their full company match at an earlier age.
- 19 percent find that employees are maxing out contributions at an earlier age.
Given the uncertainty about the future of