U.S. benefits managers may be more aware these days of the need to help workers plan for old age.
Researchers at Prudential Financial Inc., Newark, N.J., have published figures supporting that conclusion in a summary of results of a February survey of 1,218 benefits decisionmakers at U.S. employers with 50 or more full-time employees who are eligible for benefits.
The researchers also conducted a survey of 400 consumers age 18 and older who work full-time at companies with at least 50 employees.
The survey team asked employees about their top financial concerns, and they asked employers about their perceptions of the importance of various concerns to employees.
Participating benefits managers said they believe that retirement income concerns are very important to employees and are trying to address those concerns.
About 60% of the benefits managers called education on retirement a top employee priority, and 58% identified saving for retirement as a top employee priority.
Employees also identified retirement issues as top priorities, with 72% rating retirement education as a top priority and 86% rating actually saving for retirement as a top priority.
About 48% of the benefits managers said they expect their companies to take concrete steps to improve retirement education programs by 2010.
But the researchers found that benefits managers may not recognize how hungry employees are for help with protecting themselves and their families against death and disability today and long term care expenses in the future.