Managing Today's Plans

Survey: Employer Involvement Is Key to Impacting Retirement Saving

Workplace promotion of retirement benefits a true trigger for younger participants

INDIANAPOLIS, IN — (August 2, 2016) Beyond merely offering retirement benefits to their employees, employers should actively promote the advantages of signing up – a task that becomes progressively more difficult as their workforce ages, according to a survey conducted by OneAmerica®.

Employer promotion of the retirement plan is most effective at spurring those younger than 35 (40 percent), followed by 35- to 49-year-olds (32 percent) and lastly those aged 50 and older (32 percent).

“The older participants get, the less effective workplace promotion of retirement benefits is,” said Marsha Whitehead, vice president of marketing for retirement services for the companies of OneAmerica. “It’s imperative that plan sponsors and financial professionals get involved early in every sense of that word. They need to think of themselves as a trusted resource for their employees — particularly those younger than 35. They have an opportunity for an influential role that includes guidance, retirement education, communications and resources to promote financial wellness. They can be advocates.”

Charting trends, attitudes & behaviors

More than 10,500 people completed the survey on OneAmerica’ s Account Services participant website between Aug. 27, 2015 and Feb. 1, 2016. OneAmerica polls participants’ biannually in order to identify and educate plan sponsors and financial professionals about participant trends, attitudes and behaviors. Findings from the survey have been summarized in a white paper to plan sponsors and financial professionals with OneAmerica.

“Understanding this information enables us to add value to the retirement planning process and deepen our relationships with participants, ” Whitehead said.

The older participants get, the less effective workplace promotion of retirement benefits is

The 2016 participant survey results suggest that employers should tailor messaging and education programs by age group, due to different concerns and priorities. For example, participants just starting their careers tend to be more concerned about student loans compared to participants who are closer to the end of their careers.

The survey also showed that younger participants are more open to “new and interactive” types of communication and engagement. Participants younger than 35 are almost two times as likely to welcome text message notifications than respondents age 50 and older. The survey also shows that employers should facilitate a “friends and family discussion” by providing materials that help introduce topics and guide the conversation, especially for the youngest age group, due to the influential nature of so-called water cooler chats.

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