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Infographic: Half of U.S. employees face retirement risks

Findings from the 2022 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey

July 11, 2022

With half of employees facing risks to their retirement security, they look to their employers for help. Explore actions you can take.
Health and Benefits|Retirement|Wellbeing
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Infographic: Half of U.S. employees face retirement risks

Half of U.S. employees face retirement risks; 3 in 10 expect to work to age 70 or later

Retirement is the benefit employees want employers to prioritize
  1. Retirement – 44%
  2. Flexible work – 39%
  3. Health – 33%

Ranked in top 3

Importance of retirement benefits in attracting and retaining talent soars
2010 2019 2022
Important reason to join 25% 36% 47%
Important reason to stay 41% 48% 60%

6 in 10 employees are willing to have a higher amount withheld from their paycheck for:

  • A larger, more generous retirement benefit 59% vs. 54% in 2020
  • A guaranteed retirement benefit 63%

Half of employees face key risks to their retirement security
  • 35% - Under-saving*
  • 18% - Taking a loan from a 401(k)**
  • 20% - Withdrawing from retirement savings

*Saving 5% of income or less for retirement and wanting to save more

**Employees with a defined contribution plan only

Employees who are more likely to suffer retirement risks:

  • 72% - Struggle with day-to-day finances
  • 64% - Suffered financial shocks
  • 62% - Earn less than $50,000

Employees facing retirement risk are more likely to make short-term financial decisions that may undermine long-term financial security

Find it difficult or very difficult to cover one or more core needs

  • 31% No retirement risks
  • 54% Facing retirement risks

Unable to pay bills

  • 12% No retirement risks
  • 31% Facing retirement risks

Took a salary advance

  • 10% No retirement risks
  • 23% Facing retirement risks

Took a home equity loan

  • 8% No retirement risks
  • 20% Facing retirement risks

Unrealistic expectations?
  • Half of employees under age 50 expect to retire before age 65
  • Yet almost 3 in 5 employees under age 50 face at least one retirement risk
  • Roughly 3 in 10 employees expect to work to age 70+ or to never stop working

Actions you can take now!
  • Identify ways to help employees struggling with day-to-day finances, for example, by facilitating savings and investment options directly from pay, providing access to debt management services or allowing employees flexibility to use retirement contributions for other needs.
  • Ensure employees have access to retirement apps to monitor their retirement accounts. About one in five employees already use apps for tracking retirement savings regularly. And those who do are more engaged with their retirement savings and more likely to think their retirement plan meets their needs.
  • Consider offering or recommending financial advisor services to employees. Two in five employees would trust an advisor suggested by their employer more than one they found on their own.
  • Confirm you are up to date with retirement plan design strategies to support employee savings. Consider what market innovations and legislative opportunities might best support your employees' financial resilience needs.

Source: 2022 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey

About the survey: A total of 9,658 U.S. employees from large and midsize private employers participated in the survey, which was conducted during December 2021 and January 2022.

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