|Targeted News Service|
The survey was conducted by an independent research firm and polled a random sample of more than 1,000 adults nationwide on their retirement plans.
Getting employees engaged in retirement saving
The survey found that more than half (53 percent) of employees with company retirement plans were not automatically enrolled in their companies' plans. Those not automatically enrolled lost precious time saving for retirement, with 37 percent of respondents who were not automatically enrolled in a plan reporting that they waited six months or longer to enroll, and one in four employees (24 percent) waiting a year or more.
The survey also found 57 percent of workers did not increase their plan contribution after their last raise. The most common reason cited for not increasing contributions after a raise was an immediate need to pay expenses. One-quarter (25 percent) of respondents say they did not increase their contributions after their last raise because they were already contributing the maximum amount to their retirement plan, although men (33 percent) were nearly twice as likely as women (17 percent) to be contributing the maximum amount allowed.
Millennials (age 18-34) were more likely than any other age group to increase savings after a raise (52 percent) and of those Millennials who did not increase savings after a raise, 23 percent did not do so because they were already contributing the maximum amount allowed.
"Plan sponsors should have ongoing interactions with employees over the course of their careers around three critical actions: enroll in the plan, increase contributions every year and check asset allocations every year to rebalance if necessary," said
Investing in the future
The survey found that many respondents are not taking the steps necessary to make sure they have the right investments at each stage of their lives. One-quarter (25 percent) of workers have never made changes to how their money is invested, and an additional 28 percent have not made changes to how their money is invested in more than one year.
Millennials again were significantly more likely to have changed how their money was invested in the past year compared to those 35 years or older (59 percent vs. 42 percent).
One-third (34 percent) of those age 55 or older say they have never made a change to the way their money is invested, which means they are less likely to have taken the steps necessary to transition from saving for retirement to creating income to last for a lifetime.
"Plan sponsors should be proactively looking for opportunities to engage directly with employees about their retirement savings, especially during pivotal times such as benefits enrollment season and after an employee receives a raise," said Hassara. "Reaching employees at the right time with the right messaging can have a profound effect on retirement readiness."