Retirement & Financial Planning Report

While employers in general view the retirement benefits as important to their workers, those workers in general are less optimistic about how well those benefits will support them in retirement, a study has found.

A report from the TransAmerica Center for Retirement Studies, using separate surveys of employers and employees addressed to the same issues, found that while 77 percent of employers view retirement benefits as important in attracting and retaining employees, a larger percentage of workers, 80 percent, view retirement benefits as a major factor in their choice of employment.

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The difference was even greater regarding the anticipated value of those benefits in achieving financial security in retirement. While 81 percent of employers were “confident their employees will be able to achieve a financially secure retirement, including 23 percent that are very confident,” it said, only 67 percent of workers were confident, including 22 percent who were very confident.

“More than three in four workers (77 percent) agree with the statement, “Compared with my parents’ generation, people in my generation will have a much harder time in achieving financial security,” including 37 percent who strongly agree and 40 percent who somewhat agree,” it said.

The report also again highlighted the difference in retirement benefits between the private sector and the federal government, which offers its employees both a defined contribution through the Thrift Savings Plan and defined benefits through the FERS and CSRS systems.

It said that 64 percent of companies surveyed offer a 401(k) plan, ranging from 92 percent of large companies to 57 percent of small companies; of those that don’t offer such plans, most have no expectation of beginning to offer them. Further, only 11 percent offer defined benefit plans.

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