Few plan sponsors believe employees are on track for retirement

By BenefitsPro

By Paula Aven Gladych

While 401(k) account balances are at an all-time high, only a small percentage of plan sponsors believe their employees are on track for retirement.

A recent Deloitte survey found that three-quarters of employers believe their employees’ retirement readiness is a top priority, with 32 percent—a 7 percent increase from 2011—having conducted retirement readiness assessments for employees. The average 401(k) balance is just above $85,000.

Offering options such as automatic enrollment, Roth 401(k) features and individual financial counseling has had a positive impact on plan participation and awareness, according to the survey. Eighty-six percent of plan sponsors who implemented automatic enrollment have seen a positive impact on plan participation by employees.

The Roth 401(k) feature increased in popularity among plan sponsors in 2012, with 53 percent of respondents reporting that their plans now offer a Roth feature. That was a 6 percent jump from 2011. More plan sponsors began offering employees individual financial counseling and advice—up from 50 percent in 2011 to 61 percent in 2012—further underscoring the emphasis plan sponsors are placing on participant education.

Deloitte's 2012 Annual 401(k) Benchmarking Survey was conducted electronically in conjunction with the International Foundation of Employee Benefits Plans and the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists. The survey's 400 respondents are evenly distributed by geography, size and ownership status.

Originally published on BenefitsPro.com