Employers and providers have a long way to go to educate and engage millennials in retirement planning
CAMAS, Wash., January 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — A study from Fisher Investments 401(k) Solutions found that eighty percent of millennials say they would prefer to work for a company that offers a 401(k) plan, dispelling a commonly-held belief that millennials are not as interested in 401(k) plans as other generations.
Despite their high levels of interest, millennials also tend to be less educated on the ins and outs of retirement planning, with nearly four out of five failing Fisher’s 401(k) IQ in the Workplace Quiz.
“We’re encouraged that the vast majority of millennials recognize that 401(k) plans can be indispensable to meeting their long-term savings goals. However, when you get down to the nuts and bolts of planning, it becomes clear there’s an education gap,” said Nathan Fisher, Managing Director and founder of Fisher Investments 401(k) Solutions. “What’s interesting is the reliance and trust millennials place on advice from their immediate network instead of retirement providers.”
The Fisher study also found that millennials are more likely than other groups to receive and trust information about retirement planning from individual contacts, whether they be friends, relatives or co-workers, countering the view that younger savers are more reliant on internet-based information and advice. In fact, nearly one in three millennials trust a friend or family member’s advice on retirement planning most. In keeping with their desire for individual attention, millennials are more likely than other age groups to wish their retirement provider would reach out to them personally and to know more about their company’s 401(k) plans.
Small Business – Small Participation
Millennials at small businesses (those with between 5-200 employees) tend to be less engaged in retirement planning, with nearly 1 in 4 saying they are not enrolled in a plan. Those who are enrolled in a plan are also less likely to receive information from their 401(k) provider than their counterparts at larger companies, and, perhaps most troubling, they are less likely to trust the 401(k) plan offered by their employer.
The survey also found some stark differences between millennial women and men. Millennial women are much less confident in their ability to pick the right investments and save enough for retirement than their male peers. They are also less likely to be enrolled in their company’s 401(k) plan and more likely to fail the 401(k) IQ Quiz.
“This study really strikes at the heart of the assumptions many employers and planners have about the millennial generation,” Mr. Fisher continued. “While they are very technologically savvy, millennials are in fact the most likely generation to seek individual rather than web-based information about their retirement plans. We were also surprised to find that a significant gender gap continues to exist when it comes to investing and retirement planning, something that employers and 401(k) providers must address.”
“As millennials increasingly become the dominant generation in the workplace, it is increasingly important that both employers and providers fully understand the differences in how they operate,” concluded Nathan Fisher. “It might be easy to look at these results and think the fix is more education sessions. However, what I see is a need to closely examine how we approach education; engaging directly with younger workers and fostering a retirement ready culture within their organizations.”
About Fisher’s 401(k) Wellness in the Workplace Survey
Fisher’s 401(k) Wellness in the Workplace Survey was conducted by KRC Research, on behalf of Fisher Investments, to explore 401(k) plan knowledge, information access and service satisfaction in employees working for small, medium and large businesses. The survey also included a nine question 401(k) IQ in the Workplace Quiz, to test basic 401(k) knowledge.
KRC Research surveyed 1,013 American employees working for companies that offer 401(k) plans. Research was conducted via 10 minute online survey from October 7-11, 2016 amongst respondents from an even mix of demographics and company sizes.
About Fisher Investments
Fisher Investments 401(k) Solutions is dedicated to bringing superior retirement plan services to small and mid-sized businesses and their employees. Fisher’s unique service offering is built on 35+ years of successful wealth management experience and includes our flexible investing platform with actively-managed funds. Business owners will experience the benefit of ongoing support from a dedicated Retirement Counselor whose focus is making the management of a 401(k) retirement plan easier, while helping employees plan for a comfortable retirement. For more information, visit here.