Employees Trust Financial Advice from Employers

November 29, 2012 (PLANSPONSOR.com) While employers and financial institutions are not the first go-to sources for financial guidance, their advice carries weight with employees. 

Two-thirds of adults surveyed by TIAA-CREF trust the financial advice provided by their employers (66%) and by traditional financial institutions (64%).One in five Americans surveyed said finding relevant financial advice is difficult. Of those, 51% do not know where to start looking, and 74% do not know which sources they can trust.     

The most frequently named source of advice is family and friends (47%), followed by financial service providers (34%) and respondents’ primary banks (33%). Seventeen percent named employers.   

Along with budgeting and savings, retirement is the main area in which consumers look for advice. Nearly half said they worry about their long-term financial security. However, only about three in every 10 Americans who have received retirement advice said they have changed their asset allocations or increased the amount they contribute to their retirement savings in the wake of receiving advice.   

Yet, 47% said they worry they will run out of money in retirement, and nearly half (49%) are unsure if they have saved enough to retire.

About two-thirds of Americans said they look for financial advice at least a few times a year, and of those, one in five seeks advice far more often—weekly or biweekly. According to the survey, only one-third of Americans said they consistently take action after receiving financial advice.   

The majority of those surveyed (64%) prefer getting advice in person, noting that it feels more personable and fosters trustworthiness.At the same time, a substantial number of respondents (22%) said they prefer to receive advice online.     

Of the consumers who prefer to receive financial advice online, 31% said they like the accessibility of online advice, 25% said getting advice online fits their lifestyle, and 20% cited the convenience.     

Additionally, four in 10 consumers said they use some type of online tool to manage their finances, whether an online calculator, a retirement-tracking tool or online tutorials and articles.   

The survey was conducted by KRC Research by phone among a national random sample of 1,006 adults ages 18 years and older nationwide between July 11 and July 17, 2012.  

More about the survey results is here.