According to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Workplace Benefits Report released in June, 66% of small business ownersnow say retirement benefits are important to attracting new talent, and 58% say they are important to driving loyalty. “A few years ago we’d have small business owners who wouldn’t put this [issue] high on the list of things that attract and retain employees,” says Rich Linton, head of Small Business Retirement for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. For years, the premium had been on health care, which is still a top priority among job seekers.But the real change is that small business owners are taking responsibility for making sure their employees are financially literate and able to plan their own financial futures, Linton says. In his 20 years in the retirement business, he has never seen such serious interest in employee retirement plans from small business owners. “That’s an astonishing shift,” he says. “Five years ago it was difficult to get business owners to engage in education beyond the basics of ‘Here’s your 401(k), here are your options, here’s how the plan works,'” he says. Now they are asking financial advisors for help making their employees better savers and investors.
The events of 2008 and 2009 have opened the eyes of many small business owner to the fact that their employees will need to provide for their own retirement. The government may not be there to help.
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