As workers across the country continue to evaluate their priorities and possibilities, their expectations are clear: more money and better benefits. Surveys find that when considering job shifts, yes, employees are looking for salary increases, but competitive benefits, like employer sponsored retirement plans, are a close second.
Salary, Benefits and Financial Well-Being
For the second straight year, The Harris Poll has conducted the “Voice of the American Worker” survey on behalf of Franklin Templeton and its Retirement Innovation Initiative. Summing up some of the key findings, the National Association of Retirement Plan Advisors (NAPA) reports:
More than two-thirds of American workers (67%) have reassessed what they want from their employers and nearly half (44%) have considered leaving or have left their jobs over the past year…When considering a new job opportunity, salary remains the top consideration, but benefits are not far behind. When asked about the importance of salary versus benefits, 51% of respondents agreed that salary is the most important deciding factor when weighing a new job opportunity, compared with 49% who agreed that benefits and financial wellbeing are the most important. In addition, 64% of respondents say they are looking for more out of their benefits than what their employer currently offers.
Drilling down further, workers in 2021 cited higher pay and increased 401(k) matching as the most-preferred benefits, at 51% and 40%, respectively. The survey also found that more than 8 in 10 employees would be interested in a deferred annuity benefit, but only 2% of their employers offer one.
Many Eyes On Retirement Plans
Employers sponsoring retirement plans are clearly ahead of the competition when it comes to attracting and retaining employees. Experts encourage maximizing this advantage by ensuring the plan is responding to the current needs and interests of workers. For example, the recent survey found that because employees are looking for increased financial wellbeing, they are eager for more guidance from qualified financial advisors, the latest educational resources, and, planning tools like online dashboards.
As a plan sponsor, remember, you have the continuous fiduciary responsibility to ensure participants are benefiting from the plan. As such, it is critical to revisit your risk management plans periodically—and make sure that all appropriate coverage is in place and current. Let Colonial Surety Company help. Just select an affordable, package and receive a three point coverage solution—in minutes:
- The ERISA bond required to protect the assets of the retirement plan from theft.
- Fiduciary Liability Recovery to protect you and your assets from personal liability.
- Cyber Liability coverage to safeguard your company and plan from covered losses and expenses in the event of a cyber breach.
Good To Do
With workers trying harder then ever to save, they are clearly eager to leverage all the features of employer sponsored 401(k) plans. Experts advise plan sponsors to review the participation rates, deferral rates and personalized rates of return. Understanding these measures can inform efforts to improve plan design and communication strategies. Increasing auto-enrollment deferral rates and adjusting the employer match are two examples of how plan design adjustments can increase employee well-being—and retention.
As you carefully monitor the plans investment options, keep in mind that class action lawsuits on behalf of plan participants continue to put intense scrutiny on how the investment options offered participants are selected, benchmarked, and, if warranted, removed from the plan. Under the high standards of ERISA law, failure to act can result in allegations of a fiduciary breach. Plan sponsors can now affordably mitigate their risks with affordable fiduciary liability insurance from Colonial Surety. Our annual premium is less than what you would pay for just one hour with an expert ERISA lawyer if disaster strikes—and we even include cyber liability insurance. Complete Plan Sponsor Package Here.
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