Workers are worried about retirement — and they want employers' help
- A third of workers responding to a new Employee Benefits Research Institute and Greenwald & Associates study said they worry about finances at work, with most citing debt as their main concern. More than half of those who worry also said they lack confidence about living comfortably in retirement.
- Respondents generally said they'd like their employers' assistance with retirement planning. Most (75%) wanted help calculating how much to save for a secure retirement, help calculating how much to anticipate spending each month in retirement (72%), help planning for health care expenses in retirement (72%) and help with comprehensive financial planning (68%).
- Significantly fewer respondents thought budgeting or debt counseling would be helpful, however. And while less than 40% of respondents believed that counseling for student loan debt could be beneficial, younger workers were more likely to perceive this program, along with budgeting and debt counseling, as useful.
This most recent study echos what others have found: employees don't feel prepared for retirement. Willis Towers Watson, however, released information earlier this year showing that employers have taken note: 68% of employers are making retirement security a priority, up from 46% in 2013.
Still, there's some disconnect. An August Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies study revealed that while most workers (66%) would like more help from employers in reaching their retirement goals, only 52% of employers believe that to be the case.
With 81% of employees saying that retirement benefits make up a major portion of a job search, employers can't afford to ignore that perk. But to truly help employees cope with the mental burden that debt and a lack of retirement savings can create, a holistic approach may be necessary. The key to helping workers prepare for retirement is promoting financial literacy, Catherine Collinson, president of the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, previously told HR Dive. "Many workers find the concept of retirement investing difficult to understand — because it is difficult to understand," said Collinson.