With millions of Americans being underfunded for retirement, many employers are increasingly taking an active role to help their employees get on track to reach their long-term financial goals.
Employers are becoming increasingly concerned about the financial well-being of their employees, and they are expanding how they demonstrate their loyalty. Employers large and small are offering programs such as robust health insurance plans, on-site daycare, after school care, flexible work hours, Health Savings Accounts (HSA’s), and the ability to work remotely. Some companies also provide on-site amenities such as workout facilities and yoga classes while others reimburse health club dues, and employ nutritionists and personal trainers.
As it relates to financial wellness, employers are also taking an active role to help employees reach their long-term financial goals. In 2016, according to the National Compensation Survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the percentage of private-sector workers who had access to a defined contribution plan such as a 401(k) or a defined benefit pension plan was 66%.
In addition to simply offering a defined contribution retirement plan, employers are embracing the ability to automatically enroll workers in their 401(k) plans. This is known as automatic enrollment, or automatic contribution arrangement. This allows for eligible employees in 401(k), 403(b) and 457(b) plans, SARSEPs and Simple IRA plans to have a percentage of their wages automatically directed into their company’s retirement plan without the participant’s explicit authorization. Unless a participant opts out, the Company will continue to redirect a portion of an employee’s paycheck into their retirement savings account. Of course, all of an employee’s contributions are immediately and fully vested which means the plan participant has full rights to their contribution at all times. This is important because workers can be skeptical when their hard earned money doesn’t arrive into their paycheck; knowing they have immediate vesting can help participation rates.