Employees Want More Help From Employers on Retirement

More than half of participants surveyed said a guaranteed retirement benefit would best meet their needs.

The Willis Towers Watson “Global Benefits Attitudes Survey” found that U.S. employees want more help from their employers to save for retirement. They’re also seeking more help balancing their work and life issues and getting the most value from their employee benefits.

Fifty-three percent said saving for retirement was the area in which they most wanted help from their employers. When asked what would best meet their needs to save for retirement, 53% said they want a guaranteed retirement benefit, 42% want more generous retirement benefits in exchange for lower pay, 41% want medical benefits in retirement and 29% would like access to other savings and investment products.

Thirty-seven percent cited reducing benefit costs as their top benefits priority for 2021. That was followed by 26% wanting to receive greater benefits security from their employer, 19% wanting more benefit choices and 18% wanting flexible work schedules that also permit them to decide where they want to work.

Additionally, 45% would like their employer to help them get the most value from their benefits, and 59% would like all their benefits to be displayed on a single website. Fifty-three percent want tools to help them understand their choices, and 49% want the ability to speak with a benefits specialist when making decisions.

“The pandemic and its economic impact have strengthened Americans’ desire for greater financial security as well as flexibility, and many are looking to their employers for help,” says Steve Nyce, senior economist at Willis Towers Watson. “At the same time, benefit costs have become a sensitive issue. Employees are paying more for benefits, which, in turn, is squeezing their take-home pay, and they need to find ways to lower or stabilize their costs.”

Jill Knoke, health and benefits outsourcing leader at Willis Towers Watson, adds: “Many employees have concerns about the cost of benefits and are looking for assistance from their employers. While providing meaningful choices and decision support tools are not new solutions, they’re a good place for employers to start. By reinvesting in benefit technology and communication, employers can move the needle and help employees better understand their benefit choices, manage costs and, ultimately, optimize the value of their benefits.”

Willis Towers Watson conducted the survey of 4,898 U.S. workers in the first half of October.