Recent Study Offers Employee Trends To Consider in Your Plan Design Strategy
T. Rowe Price’s 2022 “Participant Reactions and Trends” report revealed that employees have largely stayed the course during the market volatility, economic uncertainty and many other challenges over the past few years. However, the study also identified some interesting trends that have emerged. Such trends, shown in the following list, can help inform your plan design strategy and additional educational areas to focus on for the remainder of your plan year.
Digital Content Is King
Participants consumed nearly three times more digital retirement educational content in 2022 than in 2021. The most significant increase was with participants over 50 years old consuming content focused on retirement savings goals.
A Hard No
Participants have taken slightly more hardship withdrawals (4% more in 2022 vs. the 10-year average) but the amount of those withdrawals has decreased by over 20% compared to 2021.
Staying on Target
Ninety-nine percent of participants stayed the course and didn’t make a change in their investment strategy in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2022. In addition, participants with 100% invested in a target date product were 15 times less likely to make a change than those with 0% invested in a target date product during Q4 2022.
You Are What You Owe
Participants who take multiple loans per year have a deferral rate that is lower — by an average of 2.3 percentage points — than those who do not take multiple loans.
Plan Sponsor Considerations
Here are a few strategies to consider that could help support the positives in these trends:
- Consider reinforcing educational efforts to help increase awareness and knowledge of target date funds.
- Continue to educate employees about the ramifications of taking a loan or hardship withdrawal, along with the opportunity cost related to tax-deferred compounding.
- Expand your offering of sustainable retirement planning tools and look to enhance digital content and communication mediums offered, giving employees a diversity of ways to learn, acquire knowledge and boost financial literacy.
- It may sound simple, but there is perhaps no better way to support employee retirement savings than by way to support employee retirement savings than by compounding and the potential growth opportunity it offers.
- If you aren’t already, consider implementing emergency savings vehicles for employees, such as those now available through the passing of SECURE Act 2.0.
The report is based on plans with approximate assets >$25 million with T. Rowe Price as the recordkeeper. The report findings can be viewed at by clicking here.
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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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