Mesirow: DC plan participants not using all retirement tools

Defined contribution plan executives continue to believe overwhelmingly that participants don't take full advantage of the savings and retirement tools available to them, according to the latest annual retirement survey by Mesirow Financial Holdings.

The firm reported Tuesday that 82.1% of respondents answered “no” when asked whether participants take “full advantage” of the savings and retirement tools, compared to 80.9% in a year-earlier survey and 78.5% in a 2011 survey. This is Mesirow Financial's third annual survey.

“Unfortunately, this trend continues to indicate participants do not thoroughly use the retirement tools even though plan sponsors have long encouraged participants to take more advantage of the software tools and resources available to them,” said a Mesirow Financial report describing the survey results.

“Participants are still a little lackadaisical about saving for retirement,” Chris Reagan, senior managing director and Mesirow Financial's retirement plan advisory practice leader, said in an interview.

The survey reported that 83.6% of DC plan executives said participants asked “very few questions” about fee disclosure, while 15% said participants had asked some questions and 1.4% said participants had asked “significant” questions.

Among plan executives, 87.7% said they had reviewed their fees in the past six months, and 74.3% said they have a “full understanding” of fee-disclosure requirements.

The Internet survey, conducted in January and February, was based on responses from 85 DC executives. The survey wasn't restricted to Mesirow Financial clients.