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Retirement Doctor: Inside the Mind of Plan Sponsors

Jan 11, 2019 1:14:54 PM / by Mike Rogers



According to the Fidelity Plan Sponsor Attitude Survey, employers are most concerned with ensuring their retirement plan is effectively preparing employees for retirement.

The survey was conducted with employers that use a wide variety of recordkeepers and have at least 25 participants and $10 million in plan assets. While 2017’s potential regulatory changes were top of mind for plan sponsors, this last year, the top reason they hired advisors was to help improve their plans.

Given plan sponsors’ focus on retirement readiness, the Boston investment behemoth, Fidelity Investments, notes that plan advisors can add value by sharing knowledge and opportunities to help plan participants reach their goals in retirement. Some additional highlights include:

  • 83% reported making some sort of investment menu change.
  • 82% made changes to plan design with Increasing Participation and Increasing Savings Rates as the main reasons.
  • Unfortunately, six in 10 finance and HR associates participating in the survey reported concern that employees would not respond well to being automatically enrolled. The actual statistics say otherwise. Participation rates for 20-29-year-olds is 84% in auto-enrolled plans versus 31% without.
  • However, 87% of employees stayed in plans with an auto-enrollment default of 5% or higher, and 68% reported being “very satisfied” with the feature.
  • Retirement income goals are on the minds of plan sponsors – seven in 10 reported setting a goal for retirement income
  • Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) could increase firms’ resources available to retirement plan participants. Sixty-five percent of plan sponsors stated that retirement plans compete for funding with health an other benefits. Sponsors considered health care to be the most important benefit for the company-even before retirement benefits.

Topics: 401(k) plan, 401(k) plan sponsor, 401(k), best practices, ERISA, Audit, Retirement Doctor

Mike Rogers

Written by Mike Rogers

Mike is an industry veteran with 30 years of experience in every aspect of retirement planning, including registered investment advisory, third party administration, and record keeping. His list of credentials is as extensive as it is impressive: Qualified Pension Administrator (QPA), Qualified 401K Administrator (QKA), Certified Pension Consultant (CPC), Qualified Pension Financial Consultant (QPFC), Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®), Tax Exempt and Governmental Plan Consultant (TGPC), Certified Behavioral Finance Analyst (CBFA), Professional Plan Consultant (PPC), Global Fiduciary Strategist (GFS). Mike is also a former member of the Schwab SRT Technologies Advisory Board, Schwab TPA Advisory Board, and Fidelity/IBG Advisory Board.

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