Faced with a choice of how they want retirement plan information delivered, participants can't come to a definitive conclusion about paper, electronic or both, according to a recently published survey by the Secure Retirement Institute, Windsor, Conn.
The research organization found that 26% wanted only paper, 38% wanted only electronic — online portal or email — and 32% wanted both, based on 721 responses in a national sample of people who have money in retirement accounts.
Although the survey was published in January this year, it was conducted in April 2019, well before October 2019 when the Department of Labor issued proposed guidelines for offering information via a website as the default presentation. The proposal said participants could opt out if they wanted a paper presentation.
One interesting finding was that baby boomers were the most likely to support electronic-only delivery, wrote Brooke Lacey, a spokeswoman for the organization, in an email.
Among three age groups, 43% of baby boomers (ages 55-73) wanted this approach, compared with 42% for millennials (ages 18-38) and 34% for Generation X (ages 39-54), Ms. Lacey wrote.
Baby boomers also were the strongest advocates for paper-only deliveries (32%) vs. Generation X (23%) and millennials (22%).
However, baby boomers were the least interested (24%) in receiving both types of delivery vs. 35% for millennials and 34% for Generation X.
The youngest group also was the most apprehensive about the security of electronic communications — 34% strongly agreed when asked whether they were concerned vs. 21% for Generation X and 14% for baby boomers, Ms. Lacey wrote.
The aggregate group response for security concerns was 24% who strongly agreed and 30% who somewhat agreed.
Among all groups who preferred paper-only delivery, the top answers were ease of keeping records (61%) followed by easy to read (34%) and more likely to read (34%).
The top answers for the electronic-only groups were ease of access (54%), ease of keeping records (47%) and environmental friendliness (45%).