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Workers Want Retirement Guidance From Employers: Study

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Only 53% of employees think they are building enough retirement savings, a recent survey finds.

The problem seems worse among those earning less than $50,000, of whom only 38% expressed confidence in a secure retirement, according to the survey, conducted last year among more than 1,300 working adults by Transamerica Inc., Los Angeles.

Some survey responses suggested lack of knowledge about financial matters was at the root of workers’ widespread lack of assurance about their future.

For instance, 71% said they didn’t know as much as they should about retirement investing. And when asked how they estimated how much they’d need to save to retire comfortably, 35% acknowledged they guessed, while just 6% said they have used a professional advisor.

Success in attaining retirement security depends not only on how much people save, but also how well they manage their investments, commented Catherine Collinson, retirement expert for the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies.

“The survey results illustrate the need for employers to provide investment advice in order for employees to effectively manage their retirement savings,” Collinson says.

Around 50% of respondents agreed they would like to get more information and advice through their employers on how to reach their retirement goals.

Lower-income employees expressed the highest level of interest on this point: 62%. These employees typically have fewer means and less access to professional investment advice than higher-wage employees, Transamerica notes.

Overall, 50% of those surveyed agreed they would prefer to rely on outside experts to monitor and manage their retirement savings, with the highest sentiment among lower- and middle-income employees (54% and 53%, respectively).

Transamerica points out Congress is discussing pension reform measures that could affect retirement plans.

One provision would make it simpler for employers to give employees access to professional investment advice. If enacted, that provision “would have a positive and lasting impact on the nation’s savings,” Collinson says.


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