Saving for Retirement May Be Top Concern for Employees, but Not Employers

By Staff Report

Feb. 16, 2007

Having enough saved for retirement is a top concern for most employees. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that it’s as much of a concern for their employers, according to a recent Deloitte Consulting survey.

Fifty-nine percent of employees surveyed in Deloitte’s 13th annual Top Five Rewards Priorities Survey for 2007 say saving enough for retirement and post-retirement health care is their top concern.

However, when these same respondents—who were primarily benefits managers at companies—were asked to wear their employer hat, only 25 percent say that making sure employees save enough for retirement was among their top five issues. Only 1 percent says it’s their No. 1 priority.

But despite their responses, more than half of employers say they are making changes to their retirement plans. Of those employers, 62 percent say they are developing better tools to help employees save for retirement. Thirty-six say they plan to introduce enhanced pre-retirement sessions with employees and 33 percent say they are increasing the employer match in their 401(k) plans.

Dick Kleinert, principal, human capital, at Deloitte Consulting, says he is surprised that employers didn’t rank making sure their employees save for retirement as a major priority, given that many are clearly trying to address the issue.

“My speculation is that they are aware of the concern, but not adequately aware of the concern,” he says. “They seem to be doing things implicitly to address it, but they need to do it explicitly.”

Kleinert says employers need to do more to package their retirement plans and communications so employees understand the benefit and appreciate it.

Another surprising finding of the study is that for the first time ever, concerns about attracting and retaining talent trumped cost as the No. 1 concern for large employers—those with more than $1 billion in revenue—during the next three years.

“Companies realize that the need for talent is going to get worse,” Kleinert says.

Jessica Marquez

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