Smartphone Use Soars for Plan Participants

Retirement plan participants find they can take it with them, as smartphone use overtakes usage of PCs and Macs, according to a study by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner.

Mobile tech usage dips in contrast to rising age, with the younger demographics the biggest users of smartphones, according to Spectrem’s study, “DC participant Mobile Technology Usage.”

A majority of defined contribution (DC) plan participants—eight in ten—report using a smartphone with Internet access and applications (apps), which is slightly higher than PC/Mac users (78%). Tablet and e-reader use lags both, at just 62% of respondents.

Smartphone use by DC plan participants is up significantly from last year’s 71%, while PC/Mac usage shows a faint increase (79%). Tablet and e-reader use, on the other hand, is trending upward. In 2013, usage on these devices was 57%.

It’s no surprise that the youngest respondents in the study show the highest use of smartphones, at 91% of those under 35. Survey respondents between 35 and 49 are still heavy users, at 82%. Use drops as age rises: just 74% of people over the age of 50 use a smartphone. Tablet and e-reader use also dips with age. At least two-thirds of DC plan participants use them, but just 53% of those over the age of 50 use them. Age is not a significant factor in PC/Mac use, with80% of those under 35, compared with 78% of their older counterparts.

Male plan participants are more old-school than women when it comes to mobile technology. Eight-five percent use a PC or Mac versus. 71% of women, while 63% of women use a tablet or e-reader, compared with 61% of men.