The provisions in the Pension Protection Act of 2006 allows plan sponsors to provide a more pension fund like plan for their employees. Auto-enrollment and auto-escalation are tools to help employees successfuloly retire. Atomatically enrolling employees into an age appropriate portfolio will reduce employee anxiety and improve results.
“The ongoing shift from [defined benefit] to [defined contribution] plans due to cost and cost volatility is helping to create a next generation of retirement-age workers who may not be able to afford to retire when they would ideally like to,” said Towers Watson consultant Kevin Wagner in a statement.As a result, older workers are delaying retirement, potentially clogging up promotional opportunities for younger workers and helping keep unemployment levels high for the younger generation. And this next generation is beginning to learn from the unfortunate circumstances of the current generation of retirement age workers.
“Interestingly, as this shift in retirement plans continues, other Towers Watson research shows that younger workers are finding DB and hybrid plans more appealing than DC plans,” said Alan Glickstein, another retirement consultant at Towers Watson.
The bottom line is that workers of all ages need to start expressing preferences for retirement plans that will enable some level of financial security in their retirement years. Such options include sponsoring traditional pension plans; sponsoring hybrid plans that offer the potential for lifetime retirement income; adequately funding DC plans; and providing retirement income options in DC plans. And there are good business reasons for employers to step up to the plate to help insure the retirement security of their workers.
We can no longer afford to ignore the long-term consequences of short-term thinking about our retirement programs. But we don’t need to look to our federal government to solve these problems. Employees and their employers can work together to make it a priority.
Now is the time for employees to save for retirement. If you even delay for a short time your retirement may never arrive.
Please comment or call to discuss how your company retirement can be improved to guide employees.