Skip to main content

Check out our 1Q2024 Market Review and Investment Outlook for 2024

401k Match Pic

Have You Met Your Match?

Just how important is a 401(k) match to your employees? It appears to be top of mind, according to Principal’s 2021 Retirement Security Survey. The study’s results show that the match matters most, as the top retirement plan considerations of survey participants when considering a new job are as follows: employer match (91%), eligibility requirements (80%), vesting requirements (74%), investment options (73%) and withdrawal options at job change or retirement (70%).

Moreover, one in four respondents indicated that they were considering retiring from their job or looking for a new one over the next 12 to 18 months. In an especially tight labor market, this means employers need to do all they can to attract top talent to their organizations.

How Do You Stack Up?

With employer match on the minds of workers, and many considering making a career move in the near future, it makes the following question all the more important: “What are your competitors doing to assist their workers in planning for retirement?” Here’s a roundup of some recent data on employer trends.

Employer contributions.
According to U.S. News & World Report, the average 401(k) employee contributions for Vanguard retirement plans in 2020 was 7%, with employers contributing an additional 4% to their accounts. Still, total contributions continue to fall short of the goal of 15% of annual income frequently recommended by many financial advisors.

Match formulas.
T. Rowe Price’s Reference Point benchmarking report of 674 retirement plans, published in June 2021 details the top five employer-match formulas for their defined contribution plans in 2020:

50% up to 6% (20%)
100% up to 3% + 50% up to the next 2% (19%)
100% up to 4% (12%)
100% up to 6% (11%)
100% up to 5% (9%)

Vesting schedules.
XpertHr’s 2021 Employee Benefit Survey, as reported by CNBC, asked 452 U.S. employers how long their matches take to vest. Results were as follows: immediate (28%), one year (13%), two years (7%), three years (14%), four years (6%), five years (17%), six years (10%) and unknown (5%).

Show Them the Money

According to CNBC, more than 40% of workers say it would take “a miracle” for them to be financially prepared for retirement. At this time, it’s advisable to look at your retention numbers and peruse your exit interviews. Are many human resource losses likely related to a perceived weakness in your retirement plan? Compare your defined contribution offering, especially in the above spheres, to what other organizations in your industry and area are doing. Because it’s more than likely that, if you don’t, at least some of your current employees will be in the near future.



Sources:


Related Insights
Blog 3 original

Boosting Lower Wage Earners’ Retirement Readiness

A recent Vanguard report sheds light on the pressing challenges faced by retirees across different income brackets. The findings reveal that lower income workers allocate a significantly larger portion of their pre-retirement income to meet their daily needs, leaving them with a substantial shortfall in retirement readiness — even when factoring in Social Security benefits.

Plan sponsors can take proactive steps to help participants better prepare for a secure retirement to ensure that all employees, regardless of income level, have a fighting chance at a comfortable retirement. Learn more about those key steps.

Read More
Blog 2 Benefits

Balancing Competitive Benefits in Budget Constraints for Plan Sponsors

It is crucial for companies to regularly benchmark and compare their benefits packages to their industry peers in order to maintain their competitive advantage and status. Offering a competitive benefits package, however, can be challenging for plan sponsors due to budgetary constraints.

But one industry leader says a plan sponsor should ideally reflect the investment "necessary to attract and retain the talent needed to drive business success" in their
"total rewards budget," which includes both benefits and compensation. That "right" amount of budget, he says, will depend on a number of factors. Find out more.

Read More
Blog 1 DOL

DOL Releases New Fiduciary Advice Proposal

On October 31, 2023, the Department of Labor (DOL) released its “Proposed Retirement Security Rule: Definition of an Investment Advice Fiduciary.” If finalized, a new definition of an “investment advice fiduciary” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) would apply, likely resulting in more individuals becoming fiduciaries. Learn more.

Read More
Play