Defined contribution plan participants want more information, advice and planning assistance about their retirement, according to a survey by market research and consulting firms Mathew Greenwald & Associates and KK & Co.
Sixty percent of participants want more personalized and effective communications, such as websites, proactive e-mails and on-demand videos; and 80% are interested in receiving a proactive analysis of how to improve their retirement plan savings.
“You can go into your bank on a smart phone that has tools that forecast when your account gets low and when you need to transfer money from one account to another; (participants) are looking for the same types of tools in their retirement plans,” Kendall Kay, KK & Co. president, said in a telephone interview.
Thirty-six percent are interested in an investment option that provides monthly income for life in retirement, and 60% want retirement planning assistance that addresses their specific needs.
“The industry expects an employee to be engaged and teach themselves about their retirement plan,” Mr. Kay said. “In this day and age there is a time scarcity. (Participants) don’t have a lot of time to be educated and research. They are looking for DC providers to provide an insightful analysis of their situation.”
Mr. Kay said 46% of corporate DC plan participants are calculating how much they will need for retirement, compared to 53% in 2000.
“I think they’ve gone down because people are frustrated and scared,” he said, referring to the percentage of people calculating how much they will need for retirement. “I think they’re losing faith in the industry because of all the Wall Street scandals they read about.”
The survey covered more than 2,050 participants.