Older DC Participants Using Social Media Too

Defined contribution (DC) retirement plan participants across all age groups are taking to social media for financial information and advice, according to Spectrem Group.

A new report from Spectrem’s DC Participant Insight Series, “Using Social Media and Mobile Technology in Financial Decisions,” shows more than two-thirds of plan participants ages 50 and older are on Facebook. Around half are on LinkedIn, and 12% of participants overall say they regularly research financial information on social media.

The report suggests Facebook and LinkedIn have become the most popular social media sources for financial and investment information. In addition, one in 10 plan participants uses LinkedIn to screen potential advisers and other financial services providers. Sixteen percent say they would follow a trusted adviser if the adviser was active on Twitter.

Nearly half of participants (42%) say that recent, high-profile hackings have become a source for concern in sharing financial information on social media, though privacy concerns usually come from people older than age 50, Spectrem says.

Meanwhile, 19% of plan participants say they rely more on social media than on phone calls to communicate with others, a slight decrease from last year (20%).

“Social media is still new and fragile territory for financial activity,’’ says George H. Walper Jr., president of Spectrem Group. “But we are seeing slow and steady growth, from the federal level to the investor, in using these platforms for investment dialogue, relationships and servicing.”

More DC industry research from Spectrem Group is available at www.millionairecorner.com.