US Companies Not Stepping Up to Help Employees with Retirement
Results from a survey show that the majority of U.S. companies have not adapted to their increasingly central role in helping Americans achieve a secure retirement through company-sponsored 401(k) plans.
The survey, sponsored by Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust and conducted buy Boston Research, shows that the U.S. private-sector employees are in the midst of a momentous shift from earning a pension for life to managing their own retirement. However, most employers have been slow to grasp the implications.
Employers still view retirement plans mainly as a benefit rather than as the primary means for their employees to support themselves after retirement.
Fewer than half of the 357 companies surveyed (45 percent) say the “primary” goal of offering a retirement plan to their employees is to “provide employees with the means to achieve a financially sound retirement.” Rather, the majority (51 percent) say the primary reason they offer a retirement plan is to “provide competitive benefits to attract and retain employees."
“For most Americans, retirement will be self-funded through a 401(k) plan, and we continue to believe that employers play a crucial part in helping employees see the magnitude and the importance of that task,” said Joe Ready, director of Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust. “Plan sponsors need to embrace their role in helping employees focus on maximizing their retirement plan.”