Young plan participants more likely to use digital resources

By BenefitsPro

By Paula Aven Gladych

Younger retirement plan participants are more likely to use online retirement calculators, interactive charts and mobile apps in preparing for retirement than their older counterparts, according to a retirement participant survey conducted by the American United Life Insurance Co., a OneAmerica company.

More than 60 percent of retirement plan participants under age 40 said they found online retirement calculators most helpful, compared to 51 percent of those age 41 to 50 and 41 percent of those over age 50.

Sixty-seven percent of the over-50 crowd also found articles most helpful in making retirement decisions, compared to only 45 percent of those between the ages of 20 and 30.

Younger plan participants (24 percent) also found mobile apps helpful, compared to only 12 percent of 40-to-50-year-olds. Only 7 percent of those over 50 found mobile apps helpful.

"Retirement plan providers need to work with their trusted advisers to ensure that plan sponsors are providing a wide variety of tools and the information participants need in various formats in order to reach all audiences successfully," said Bill Yoerger, president of retirement business for the OneAmerica companies.

The companies of OneAmerica surveyed 6,360 visitors to its participant website to determine how they learned about finances and prepared for retirement, what resources are most effective and how confident they are with their retirement preparations. The participants responded to the online survey, which OneAmerica plans to replicate in coming years to gauge progress in helping participants prepare for a secure retirement.

The survey also found that the digital divide extends to the sources where participants read about financial issues. Participants in the 20- to 30-year-old range are more than twice as likely to read about financial issues via blogs than 40- to 50-year-olds (20 percent vs. 9 percent). And 28 percent of the younger group of workers read about financial issues via social media. This compares to only 16 percent of 40- to 50-year-olds.

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