AN EMPLOYEE BENEFIT
Traditionally, employers provide their employees with a basic benefit package, including health benefits, PTO, 401(k), etc. These offerings help employees get TO retirement. However, it does not teach employees how to take income to get THROUGH retirement. You invest time and dollars setting up a retirement plan. When dealing with employees, most employers focus on the “how” of the retirement plan.
How do you enroll? How do you view your accounts? How do you make your investment selections? While these questions are important the first item to focus on should be the “why”. Providing education on retirement can provide the “why”, and it can have substantial benefits for both the employee and employer.
All employers want to attract the best talent. We often talk about benefit and retirement plans that “recruit, reward, and retain” employees. We hope this is the carrot that encourages loyalty and productivity. The fact of the matter is you could probably do better. Financial security is one of the biggest concerns of your employees. There are numerous studies that show employees bring financial anxieties to work. And the question of, “Am I saving enough for retirement?” is on the top of the list. When you can relieve these anxieties, the employees are more productive and loyal. One of the best ways to relieve financial anxiety is through education. When people learn why they need to prepare and then implement a plan, they become much more secure in their future and their anxiety is alleviated.
However, this is not the only benefit to employers. The trend of baby boomers planning to stay employed to latter ages is well-documented. Although this can be beneficial, it can also mean increased costs for your company. Health care costs may be higher. Wages are likely to be on the high side of the scale and new talent is not being developed or is leaving for other opportunities. By offering retirement education, you offer employees the opportunity to design an effective exit plan and in turn, help your employees and your company. The seasoned employee is motivated to be productive, but also sees a light at the end of the employment tunnel.
*Price Waterhouse Coopers 2022 Employee Financial Wellness Survey - https://www.pwc.com/us/en/services/consulting/business-transformation/library/employee-financial-wellness-survey.html
of employees are more attracted to an employer who cares about their financial well-being1
of employees are concerned that their money won't last through retirement2
In the past, workers mainly built their retirement savings by paying down their mortgage balance on their home, putting money into savings accounts/bonds, building up cash values in their life insurance policies, and possibly having a pension plan. While these approaches are still admirable, the reality is that not many Americans are doing this anymore. Instead, if someone is saving for retirement, most of their savings are with their qualified plan at work. This has increased the importance of these plans to employees.
Also, based on a 2018 Accenture survey of workers and retirees, they found that 82% of employees would like more help with retirement planning and 84% would like assistance with retirement coaching2. So there seems to be a void between what employees want and what they are receiving. The bottom line here is that employees have become far more attentive to what retirement plans and benefits packages are being offered. This factors into their decision when accepting a position and staying with a company. By simply just providing education, you can separate yourself from other employers.
1Allison, Kent E, and Aaron J Harding.
2 Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) 2018 Retirement Confidence Survey