The Finance of Longevity

Lack of Financial Knowledge Provides Opportunities for Education

OneAmerica online participant survey identifies weaknesses in dozen personal finance topics

INDIANAPOLIS, IN — (July 22, 2016) Growing your retirement account using the power of compounding with contributions. Understanding the consequences of taking a loan or withdrawal, on a retirement account. Assessing how taxation on benefits will impact Social Security.

These are among a dozen common personal financial topics about which a majority of plan participants — taking part in a new OneAmerica® online survey — say they are lacking in knowledge.

“Even people who are actively engaged with their retirement planning are admittedly in dire need of education about financial topics,” said Marsha Whitehead, vice president of marketing for retirement services for the companies of OneAmerica. “The survey data tells us that even as we’ve made retirement readiness easier to understand through the availability of online calculators and helpful videos on our One Day is Today® website, we can do a better job at making participants more knowledgeable.”

Student Loan Debt

To illustrate the point, student loan debt — cited by experts as a common barrier to saving for retirement — is perhaps the most well-known financial topic, yet in the survey, only 4 in 10 fully understand it.

From Aug. 27, 2015 to Jan. 31, 2016, more than 10,500 participants answered questions about their planning triggers and motivations, education and resource preferences and what roadblocks to retirement they may encounter. The survey results give us insights into how plan sponsors and financial professionals can work with participants to improve their financial wellness and overcome retirement planning hurdles.

Survey respondents acknowledged being the least knowledgeable about Savers Tax Credit (10 percent), taxation on Social Security benefits (13 percent), and advanced investing (14 percent).

Even people who are actively engaged with their retirement planning are admittedly in dire need of education

OneAmerica believes that by providing not only retirement education, but comprehensive financial wellness education, sponsors and financial professionals can help employees get control of their financial lives, address immediately pressing financial concerns (such as student loans, credit card debt, etc.) and help clear the way for participants to gain control of their financial lives and focus on preparing for retirement.

“The self-reported knowledge level on such things as taxation on Social Security benefit, Savers Tax Credit and retirement account withdrawals all scored in the bottom, a key indicator of weaknesses that should be addressed,” Whitehead said. “Plan sponsors need to understand and act on that.”

OneAmerica is the marketing name for the companies of OneAmerica.




About OneAmerica®
A national leader in the insurance and financial services marketplace for nearly 140 years, the companies of OneAmerica help customers build and protect their financial futures.
OneAmerica offers a variety of products and services to serve the financial needs of their policyholders and customers. These products include retirement plan products and recordkeeping services, individual life insurance, annuities, asset based long-term care solutions and employee benefit plan products.
Products are issued and underwritten by the companies of OneAmerica and distributed through a nationwide network of employees, agents, brokers and other sources that are committed to providing value to our customers.
To learn more about our products, services and the companies of OneAmerica, visit