Worried about your retirement? You’re not alone. So, increasingly, is your employer. A new survey says America’s bosses are growing more concerned over their workers’ financial well-being and preparations for retirement. The only question now: What took them so long?
According to a survey of more than 300 U.S. employers by Willis Towers Watson , more companies say they will try to help their employees by focusing increasingly on retirement readiness and benefit adequacy. The results, based on a survey conducted in February and March of 2016, show 39% of firms that offer a defined benefit and defined contribution plan see their employees’ retirement readiness as a current risk. And more, or 44%, consider it a risk two years from now, according to the survey.
What took them so long indeed? If I may brag a bit, I was providing these services and much more to employees over twenty-five years ago. We also ran a program for employees and spouses called “Thinking About Retirement” and let me tell you, when it came to understanding retirement, there wasn’t much thinking going on, especially when it came to planning for a spouse’s needs or more accurately a surviving spouse’s needs.
All those programs are long gone as is most of what I call concept communications where more than mere facts about retirement and other benefits are regularly communicated to workers. You can comply with the disclosure laws, but that does not mean you have communicated.
Employers are traditionally short-sighted when it comes to this soft stuff, they focus on cost and liabilities on the books, but miss the impact on their workforce; employees who can’t afford to retire, or who are stressed with financial problems. You could easily argue these are not the employers problems, but when they affect the workforce and productivity on the job, and indirectly their consumers, they are the employers concern or should be.
Over the last several decades employers have, in the name of EPS, gradually changed the deal. They have modified or eliminated defined benefit pensions, many cut matching contributions to 401k plans during the recession and have yet to fully restore them. Nearly all large employers have eliminated retiree medical benefits or greatly increased the cost to retirees.
The long-term impacts of all this have been ignored… so now we hear employers are growing more concerned about workers financial well-being. Too late‼️ These employers better start looking into on-the-job senior services because a growing portion of their workforce will be at work with walkers and wanting dinner are 4:00.
Many employers sawed off a good part of one leg of the three-legged stool of retirement income … and now they are concerned⁉️
You might also like to read this from almost two years ago. Employers are helping to kill retirement (and our future economy)