Saving for retirement is a daunting proposition, but a necessary one nonetheless. Despite this unavoidable need, however, many people are not putting aside earnings for their later years or fail to capitalize on special HR solutions from their employers that could help increase savings.
To learn more about the issue, the nonprofit organization Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies recently surveyed more than 16,000 workers, asking questions about retirement planning. Titled "The Changing Face of Retirement: The Aegon Retirement Readiness Survey 2014," the report aims to shed some light on the prevailing opinions about life after the workforce.
Employers play an important role in the retirement process
According to the study, most employees still have concerns about saving money for retirement, despite the fact that they are becoming more optimistic about the economic outlook. Only 28 percent of Americans are "very" or "extremely" confident that they will be able to eventually retire and live a comfortable lifestyle.
Fortunately, the study did note a few measures that can help people save for their later years. The research found that employers who take steps to simplify the decision-making process for staff members are benefiting them. Automatic enrollment, for example, was cited as one of the easiest ways to increase savings while still offering the ability for workers to opt out – although that likely will not be a problem, as 69 percent of Americans believe that the involuntary sign-ups are appealing.
"Employers can make a tremendous difference in helping their employees save for retirement by implementing automatic enrollment – and setting the default contribution rate at 6 or 7 percent," said Catherine Collinson, the president of Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies. "Moreover, they can encourage employees to save even more with an automatic escalation feature which increases savings rates over time. By doing so, they are making it easy for their employees to save."
Accommodating worker needs, made easy
Retirement planning is just one part of HR services, so it may be easy to let some aspect of this solution fall by the wayside. However, employers would be remiss if they do not provide workers with all of the resources they need to save for the future. The study noted that organizations should be offering alternatives to workers in addition to the basic or automatic enrollment plan.
Additionally, it is important for companies to provide support for employees. Educating staff members with regard to their retirement options and providing multiple options so workers can select the best fit are both effective moves that can improve employee engagement and increase savings.