Retirement Plans' Role Studied

An uncertain economy has resulted in employees looking more closely at their benefit plans, particularly those involving health care and retirement. A Towers Watson survey found that retirement plans play a major role in attracting and retaining employees.

When making their employment decision, 25 percent of survey respondents agreed or strongly agreed that their company’s retirement plan was an important factor in deciding to work for their current employer. An even larger proportion (41 percent) agreed or strongly agreed that their employer’s retirement program is an important reason why they stay with their current company. (The retirement plan may have been a defined benefit plan, a define contribution plan, or both.)

About 21 percent of those who are offered only a defined contribution plan responded that their employer’s retirement plan was an important reason in their decision to accept a job with their current employer. As far as why those who have only a defined contribution plan stay with their present employer, 32 percent said the retirement plan is an important factor.

Younger employees indicated that their employer’s defined contribution plan plays a role in their employment decisions. Of those who have such a plan available to them, 17 percent under age 40 reported that it was an important factor in choosing their current company, as did 24 percent of those in the 40 to 49 age group.

In the under-40 age group, 26 percent said that the defined contribution plan is an important reason that they stay with their present employer. In the 40 to 49 age group, 37 percent reported this attitude.

Details of this survey are at http://tinyurl.com/TowersWatsonRetention