It's troubling that 46% of working adults worry they won't manage to save enough money to cover their expenses in retirement. And while individual workers certainly need to take responsibility for prioritizing that milestone, employers can no doubt help.
And that help is certainly wanted. Transamerica reports that 66% of employees would like more support from their employers in reaching their retirement goals. And 75% of workers feel they need help determining how much they need to save for a secure retirement, according to the Employee Benefits Research Institute.
If you're invested in helping your workers better save for retirement, there are steps you can take on the employer side to make that happen. Here are a few to consider.
1. Offer a good 401(k) plan
Many companies sponsor 401(k) plans, but that doesn't mean you're actually offering a good one. In fact, a lousy retirement plan could actually cause your employees to fall short on their long-term savings goals.
So what sort of plan should you strive to offer? For one thing, seek out a plan with relatively low administrative fees. It's hard to find a plan that doesn't charge these fees at all, but it pays to research your options and see how to minimize them, since they inevitably get passed on to your employees.
Next, aim to offer a healthy mix of investment choices -- particularly index funds, whose investment fees tend to be considerably lower than those charged by mutual funds. Finally, look for a plan that offers a Roth savings option, as this will allow your employees to collect tax-free withdrawals once they're actually retired.
2. Provide a generous employer match
It's estimated that 92% of companies that sponsor a 401(k) also match employee contributions to varying degrees. But just because you offer a match doesn't mean it's a great one. Generally, when companies match employee contributions, they put in 50% of what their workers put in up to a certain percentage of salary. But the higher that percentage is, the more opportunity you'll give your employees to save. So if your current policy, for example, is to put in 50% of what your employees put in up to 6% of salary, you might consider raising that cap to 8% or 10% instead.
3. Educate workers on how to invest their savings
Offering a great 401(k) plan with a good match will no doubt help your employees save for the future. But many workers need more than that -- they need guidance. In fact, 80% of millennial workers say they'd benefit greatly from personalized investment advice for their 401(k)s, according to data from Schwab.
And it makes sense. Many workers don't know enough about investing to understand the difference between a mutual fund and an index fund. Others are apt to have difficulty balancing their aversion to risk with their desire to accumulate adequate wealth.
As an employer, you can help by bringing in independent financial advisors or consultants who can walk employees through their investment options and give them the guidance they need to make smart financial decisions. You can also run general financial wellness programs designed to help workers better manage their money on the whole.
Roughly one-third of all U.S. workers are distracted on the job due to financial issues. If you make it easier for your employees to save for retirement, they'll have one less thing to stress about, and that, in turn, might result in a boost in productivity. Just as importantly, doing better by your employees on the retirement savings front might lead to better retention, and that's reason enough to step up your game.
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