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Prudential survey: Millennials say incentives key to boosting participation

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When asked about the most effective ways to engage them to participate in their retirement plan, 73 percent of Millennials cite an annual or quarterly system that makes saving for retirement more rewarding per time period, according to a new survey.

Prudential Retirement, a unit of Prudential Financial, Newark, N.J., published this finding in a summary of results from a new survey: “Younger Workers and Retirement.” The report explores the mindset of 800 Millennial employees (ages 21 to 29), the youngest generation of workplace retirement participants.

More than 8 in 10 (83 percent) of the survey respondents say that seeing what can happen to people who don’t save enough for retirement makes want to save more for retirement. And 81 percent of the respondents agree that “contributing to one’s retirement is a must,” even in economic recessions.”

Nearly three quarters of respondents feel “highly motivated” to save for retirement now. And almost 6 in 10 (58 percent) discuss retirement planning with friends or peers.

Additionally, just over 4 in 10 (42 percent) check their retirement accounts at least monthly.

Among Millennials surveyed who currently participate in employer-sponsored retirement plans, 63 percent find them complicated and 57 percent feel intimated and uncertain, the report states.

Close to half of those polled (45 percent) believe the plans are “very risky” due to market volatility. However, almost three quarters of Millennials (73 percent) who are eligible for their workplace retirement plans say that incentives would motivate them to increase their participation in or contribution to their employer-sponsored retirement plans.

Majorities of the Millennials polled also cited the following as effective ways to engage them in their employer-sponsored retirement plan:

coaching and guidance (69 percent)

virtual retirement guide (66 percent)

group meetings and presentations (62 percent)

mobile application that permits access to educational tools and resources (60 percent)

an interactive game that lets participants see how their monthly income in retirement changes (58 percent)

live interactive webcasts where participants can ask questions (55 percent)

videos posted on the web that allow anytime access (55 percent)

ability to compare one’s retirement savings account against those of friends and peers

peer-to-peer online discussion (53 percent)