The majority of higher-education institutions — 87% — expect the COVID-19 pandemic to have a significant adverse impact on employees' retirement readiness, according to a survey from Voya Financial.
More than 2 in 5 colleges and universities, or 41%, have already reduced or stopped employer matching contributions, with 53% looking to service providers to offer more help getting employees ready for retirement, the survey found.
More than half, or 51%, also want their providers to help employees improve overall financial wellness. Many plan sponsors, for example, reported plans to expand their financial wellness programs in the next 12 months, with 40% saying they will add assistance with debt management and advisory support through one-on-one counseling. More than a third plan to add online tools and calculators (38%) as well as assistance with planning for caregivers and employees with disabilities and special needs (35%).
With many higher-education plan sponsors "facing increased budgetary constraints due to the pandemic, rethinking how they design their retirement programs is critical," said Brodie Wood, senior vice president and national practice leader for Education Markets at Voya, in a news release.
The online survey conducted from July 22 to Sept. 11 included 297 higher-education plan sponsor decision-makers.