For 70% of Americans, saving for retirement is their top financial priority, a survey by The Standard found. This is followed by monthly expenses (57%), medical expenses (52%), support if a disability is incurred (52%) and mortgage/rent (49%).
“We found that saving for retirement outweighs other important priorities, such as ensuring employees have enough money for a roof over their head or medical expenses,” says Chris Dugan, director of retirement plan communications for The Standard. “Given its importance to employees, it’s crucial for advisers and employers to do what they can to help support their retirement readiness efforts.”
According to the survey, only 33% of workers are confident about their level of retirement readiness. The Standard suggests that if a retirement plan is not already employing automatic features—automatic enrollment and deferral escalation—that it does so in 2019.
The survey found that 68% of employees of all ages support these features. For Millennials, it’s 70%; Gen Xers, 66%; and Baby Boomers, 64%.
“Employers should also consider a managed account service as the qualified default investment alternative, which offers annual automatic deferral rate increases that are customized to the needs of the individual,” Dugan says. “For most, this is just a 1% or 2% increase. But even a small additional increase each year can make the difference in making a specific retirement goal a reality.”
Roughly half of employees are not comfortable making retirement plan choices, and 55% are interested in the help of a professional.