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U.S. Hispanic Retirement Attitudes: How Cultural Influences Can Impact Retirement Savings

Executive Summary

When presented with an employer-sponsored retirement plan, some workers might jump at the chance to participate. But retirement plans aren't always universally appealing, and participation rates are not what they should be for many Americans. This can be especially true for a key segment of U.S. Hispanics in the workforce.

Several education initiatives, enrollment strategies, and default options developed in recent years have enhanced the appeal of retirement plans and improved participation rates. But there is room for improvement across all demographic segments in America. Research shows the segment of "unacculturated" U.S. Hispanic workers account for the lowest plan-participation rate across companies of all sizes[1]. This market segment is defined as those 26 percent of Hispanic adults who are foreign-born and tend to be "Spanish-dominant" in their cultural practices and language usage.

In this paper, The Principal® explores the reasons behind the trend in low participation among this group and our reasons for concluding that financial professionals — and their plan sponsor clients — should take an acculturation approach when tailoring communication and presentations to this important demographic.

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Employee Benefit Research Institute. Current Population Survey, March 2009.


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