401(k) Participants Still Worried about Sufficient Retirement Income

December 1, 2004 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - 401(k) plan participants are increasingly concerned about having sufficient income for retirement according to a survey of plan sponsors and financial advisors.

A new study by MFS Retirement Services shows that 72% of survey respondents ranked retirement income generation as one of their plan participants’ two greatest financial concerns, according to a press release. Following this, post-retirement (31%), college savings (30.8%) and outliving retirement assets (25.6%) all rank as significant worries for future 401(k)retirees.

Increasing plan participation seems to be the biggest concern, with 79% of respondents believing that this is the top factor in accumulating sufficient wealth to retire. Deferral rates and asset allocation-account rebalancing follow as the most important factors.

Sixty-three percent of respondents believe that education is the most important factor in increasing participation. Somewhat surprisingly, only 37.1% thought that employer match was the most important factor. Respondents currently devote on average a third of their current education efforts to increasing participation, while a fifth of their time goes to both account rebalancing (21.4%) and increasing deferral rates (21%).

Surprisingly, not one person surveyed stated that fund performance was a top factor contributing to retirement wealth, with most ranking is as low in importance. Paradoxically, plan sponsors rated fund performance second (to increasing participation) when listing how communication time is spent.

MFS is a global money management firm, with over $130 billion in assets under management.