Great Expectations

Great Expectations

| October 25, 2023

Survey Reveals Current Worker Expectations About Retirement Benefits

The movement to give more Americans access to a workplace retirement plan is gaining momentum. This is evident in the continuing rollout of state-mandated IRA programs across the country, along with SECURE Act 2.0’s enhanced tax incentives for businesses to start up a workplace retirement plan. Vestwell’s 2023 Retirement Trends Report reveals the current expectations that workers have regarding a workplace retirement plan. These expectations endorse the importance of your retirement plan to potential new hires and how they may view you as a prospective employer.

Employees Expect a Retirement Plan in the Workplace

No longer “a really nice perk,” most employees now expect a retirement plan to be offered by their employer — even if they choose not to participate. 98% of respondents said they think it’s important for their employer to provide one, while over 72% of respondents said they “expect employers to offer a 401(k)/403(b)” in light of the tight labor market. The popularity of employer-sponsored retirement plans is also evident in the savings priorities of respondents. When asked to rank the importance of their various savings accounts, a majority of all respondents selected their 401(k) as the most important (57%), followed by Cash Balance (23%), IRAs (11%), Emergency Savings (4%), HSAs (3%) and 529 College Savings Plans (2%). Survey respondents also indicated that preparing for retirement is their top priority, with over 47% of respondents listing it as their number one saving goal. Following this was paying off debt (34%) and saving for healthcare expenses (9%).

Employees Expect Hands-on Retirement Education from Employers

The vast majority (just under 90%) of workers indicated that their employer should be involved in retirement education. In addition, 59% agreed or strongly agreed that companies should have responded to the Great Resignation with a more hands-on approach to providing retirement information. To meet this demand, more and more employers are looking to advisors for support. Beyond retirement education, they are interested in additional financial wellness services such as personalized investment recommendations and tax planning.

Employees Expect to Need an Advisor

90% of respondents indicated they think it’s important to work with a financial advisor, with over 48% of them indicating that inflation and a volatile stock market have made working with an advisor more important. When asked what areas savers felt they could most benefit from the help of an advisor, retirement planning was the number one choice, with almost 24% of respondents selecting it. This was followed by investment strategy (20%), and expense planning (14%). Above all else, savers indicated that working with an advisor would help them achieve an overall peace of mind. The survey’s authors conclude that there is high interest in the type of sophisticated financial advice and guidance available through a professional advisor. Employers who are able to connect their benefits package with the services of a financial advisor may be able to differentiate themselves. 

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Disclosure: This material was created for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as ERISA, tax, legal or investment advice. Investment Advice and 3(38) Investment Fiduciary services offered through Diversified Financial Advisors, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor. 3(16) Administrative Fiduciary Services provided by PISTL Service Corporation. Discretionary Trustee services provided by Printing Industries 401k Trustees. If you are seeking investment advice specific to your needs, such advice services must be obtained on your own separate from this educational material.

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