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New Research: Supporting Retirement Savings

Employers who sponsor retirement plans want to know if employees who participate can retire successfully. They're ready to consider changing plan designs to boost results. This according to Supporting Retirement Savings, a survey conducted by Brightwork Partners LLC, and sponsored by the Principal Financial Group®.

Key findings:

Plan sponsors turn focus to outcomes

  • Two-thirds of plan sponsors measure the success of their 401(k) plan by the extent to which it gets participants on track to a successful retirement.
  • Nearly eighty-five percent of plan sponsors agree that "we need to spend more time helping participants plan their retirement income."

Financial professional expertise paves the way

  • Seventy-six percent of plan sponsors consult with their financial professional on plan design in order to improve participant outcomes.
  • Two-thirds of plan sponsors expect their financial professional to be aggressive in promoting outcomes-focused retirement income planning.

Plan design becomes critical to success

  • Seventy-six percent of plan sponsors believe an employer match is the most effective plan feature to improve participant outcomes.
  • Sixty-percent of plan sponsors would consider automatic enrollment at a six percent deferral rate.

Learn more

Ryan Schutty blogs:

Ryan Schutty,

Get details on three ways to make the most of your retirement readiness conversation: diagnose, simplify and measure.


Brightwork Partners LLC conducted this research on behalf of the Principal Financial Group. The research consisted of an online survey, which was completed by 283 retirement plan sponsors between September 12 — 18, 2013. All plan sponsors surveyed:

  • Offer standard or safe harbor 401(k) plans
  • Have more than 50 eligible employees
  • Use a paid financial professional to help select and monitor investment and service providers, consult on plan design, conduct enrollment meetings or resolve problems with service providers.

The survey was stratified by size. Larger plans were oversampled and weighted back to universe proportion.

For more information, contact Terri Hale, The Principal, 515.283.8858,

Have a question? Call us at 1.800.986.3343

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