Survey Finds 54 Percent Happy With Retirement Plan

By Staff Report

Sep. 2, 2009

Fifty-four percent of workers are satisfied with their current employer-sponsored retirement program, according to a new survey by Watson Wyatt Worldwide.

Also, 61 percent of the 2,200 full-time employees participating in the survey said their company’s retirement program was their primary retirement savings vehicle, and 29 percent would not save for their retirement without the company-sponsored plan.

Among workers enrolled in defined-benefit plans, 62 percent were satisfied with their plans, compared with 51 percent of those covered by defined-contribution plans.

Of respondents in defined-benefit plans, 61 percent under the age of 40 are concerned that their plan benefits will be reduced in the future, and 42 percent believe their future benefits will be eliminated as a result of the current financial crisis.

Half of defined-contribution plan participants said they prefer the freedom of investment decisions that the plans provide, despite the investment risks associated with higher returns, and 53 percent prefer the mobility a 401(k) plan offers when changing jobs.

“In the current environment, employees are beginning to rethink the cost-benefit trade-off for retirement. And for many, that means a greater emphasis on financial security and flexibility than before,” David Speier, senior retirement consultant at Arlington, Virginia-based Watson Wyatt, said in a news release.

“But security and flexibility don’t always go hand in hand,” Speier said. “By crafting plans that balance the two, companies can offer valuable benefits employees are looking for, such as portability and some reflection of market conditions that will encourage the orderly transition of their workforces.”

The survey was conducted in February. A summary is available at

Filed by Timothy Inklebarger of Pensions & Investments, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail

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