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5 Top Reasons 401(k) Plan Participants Ignore You: Survey

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Even the youngest baby boomers are getting old enough to start to think seriously about retirement.

Even the youngest Generation Z workers can see that preparing for retirement, and other major financial planning events, such as sending children to college, will take careful thought.

Why aren’t more participants in 401(k) plans and other defined contribution plans beating down the doors of financial professionals?

(Related: OneAmerica Sees LTC Solutions Knowledge Gap)

Analysts from One America have come up with some new data concerning that issue, by collecting survey responses from 12,200 participants in plans that use products issued by OneAmerica’s American United Life Insurance Company unit. The participants answered the questions from August 2017 through January 2018.

OneAmerica has also sponsored two similar surveys. The first survey in the series was conducted in 2014.

The latest survey questionnaire covered many different topics.

OneAmerica analysts found, for example, that “not having enough money in retirement” is the top financial concern for 34% of the participants, but that at least 38% have much more immediate financial concerns: 23% worry about not having enough money to pay monthly bills, and 15% worry about not being able to pay housing costs.

OneAmerica also asked the participants why they don’t work with financial advisors.

The percentage who said they do work with advisors has increased to 40% in the latest survey, up from 35% when OneAmerica conducted the first survey in the series.

OneAmerica gave the participants who answered the advisor use question a chance to pick from a list of several prewritten options, and a chance to write in their answers.

More than 200 participants summoned up the energy to write in their own answers: 1% said they did not know where or how to find an advisor; 1% said they did not want to pay fees; and 2% said that they either have no time or, that when you come right down it, they’re lazy.

About 10% of the participants said they are not yet thinking about retirement or estate planning.

Five of the prewritten options were picked by at least 14% of the participants. For a list of those five options, see the data cards in the slideshow above.

— Read  Why Many Employees Abstain From Financial Wellness Programson ThinkAdvisor.

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