Photo of a plan sponsor discussing trends in nonqualified deferred compensation plans with key employees..

Trends in nonqualified deferred compensation plans

For the 13th year, the annual nonqualified deferred comp plan research results are in, and they reveal that plan sponsors view this offering as a valuable recruiting tool while plan participants prioritize communication and personalization. The latest research results provide timely statistics and trends from the view of plan sponsors and participants—and can help you benchmark against your peers and gain valuable insights.  

The key findings from this year’s study prove continued value and need for deferred comp plans—even during a pandemic.

What employers had to say

  • Likely to make positive or no changes to benefits or staffing due to the pandemic
  • Think doing business with Principal is easy
  • Helping employees save for retirement is key
  • Providing competitive benefits is even more important
  • Still unlikely to make plan changes
  • Retention still key, but an increase in those valuing the plan as a recruiting tool
  • The role of the financial professional is still valued
  • Attitudes toward the plan are positive

What key employees told us

  • Pandemic impacts make them more likely to stay with their current employer
  • High overall satisfaction with Principal
  • Participants value the plan
  • Retirement remains a top priority
  • The income bridge strategy is a popular approach in retirement
  • Employer match and affordability impact participation
  • They're confident in their retirement savings

Read the latest research

Hear how an employer uses a deferred comp plan to enhance its benefits plan for recruiting and retaining a strong leadership team.

Between June 15-July 6 and August 17-28, 2020, Principal conducted an online survey with employers having existing nonqualified defined contribution plans and, between Agusut 17-28, 2020, with key employees who were currently deferring into a nonqualified plan with Principal. A total of 137 completed surveys were received from employers and 1,161 from key employees.

Insurance products issued by Principal National Life Insurance Co. (except in NY) and Principal Life Insurance Co. Plan administrative services offered by Principal Life. Principal Funds, Inc. is distributed by Principal Funds Distributor, Inc. Securities offered through Principal Securities, Inc., 800-247-1737, Member SIPC and/or independent broker/dealers. Principal National, Principal Life, Principal Funds Distributor, Inc. and Principal Securities are members of the Principal Financial Group®, Des Moines, IA 50392.