A Digital Divide Among Plan Participants

Younger retirement plan participants are more likely to use online retirement calculators, interactive charts and mobile applications in preparing for retirement.

More than 60% of retirement plan participants younger than age 40 said they found online retirement calculators most helpful, according to an American United Life Insurance Company (AUL) survey. This compares with 51% of participants ages 41 to 50 and 41% of those older than 50.    

Two-thirds (67%) of those older than 50 found articles most helpful, compared with 45% of respondents ages 20 to 30. (Respondents were able to select more than one choice from a list.) Twice as many 20- to 30-year-olds (24%) found mobile apps helpful, compared to only 12% of 40-to 50-year-olds. Only 7% of those older than 50 found mobile apps helpful.  

The survey also found the digital divide extends to the sources where participants read about financial issues. Participants in the 20- to 30-year-old range are more than twice as likely to read about financial issues via blogs than 40- to 50-year-olds (20% versus 9%). Twenty-eight percent of the younger group of workers read about financial issues via social media, compared with 16% of 40- to 50-year-olds.  

The companies of OneAmerica recently surveyed visitors to its participant website to determine how they learned about finances and prepared for retirement, what resources are most effective and how confident they are with their retirement preparations; 6,360 participants responded.