Majority of Employers Implementing Auto Features

Some 72% of employers in a recent poll have adopted auto plan features, with 51% using auto enrollment and 71% deferring participants into a target-date fund.

The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP) poll also said 44% of employers report they offer financial or retirement planning opportunities to their employees, while 81% said their employee assistance program can handle workers suffering from financial-related stress.

The survey found that most employers offering a defined contribution (DC) plan provide matching contributions: 81% of corporations, 68% of professional service firms, 57% of public employers and 9% of multiemployer plans. The most common match reported is 50 cents per dollar up to 6% of pay; 6% report they have dropped their match within the past two years.

DC plans are most common among corporations (83%) and professional service firms (77%). They are less popular among public employers (61%) and multiemployer plans (58%).

Defined benefit (DB) plans are most common among public employers (88%) and multiemployer plans (88%) and less so among corporations (41%) and professional services firms (19%).  Seventy-nine percent said they have not frozen their DB plan. Multiemployer plans were least likely to have frozen their plan (8%), corporations the most likely (30%). Only 3% of respondents indicated they had terminated a plan.

“The lingering effects of the recession have prompted workers to closely examine their retirement saving and investment strategies for the future. For many, employer-provided retirement plans will be a significant component of their retirement income,” explained Julie Stich, Senior Information/Research Specialist at the International Foundation, in the news release.

Employee Benefits Survey: U.S. and Canada 2011 was conducted in March and April 2010 with responses from 1,315 individuals representing four types of organizations: corporations, professional service firms, public employers, and multiemployer benefit plans.