Many Participants not Confident of Pension Payout

October 28, 2010 ( – Nineteen percent of individuals with a defined benefit pension plan who responded to Mercer’s recently released workplace survey are very confident they will receive income from their plan.

A Mercer news release said that is down from 24% in 2008. Thirty-five percent said they are confident of getting the pension payouts, another 35% are somewhat confident and 11% aren’t confident at all.

“These findings should cause concern for any plan sponsor who offers a pension plan,” said Andrew Yerre, Mercer’s US Business Leader, Defined Benefit Outsourcing., in the news release. “Clearly the past two years of economic volatility have caused participants to become very anxious about all aspects of their retirement readiness, including their pension benefits.”

Yerre continued: “Our findings further suggest that DB plan sponsors need to better educate participants around their entire retirement plan offerings. There is a real strategic opportunity for plan sponsors to not just promote the existence of DB plans but to also highlight their long-term value as part of a total rewards and comprehensive retirement planning program that could include a 401(k), IRA or other investments.”

The Mercer survey tracks employee attitudes toward, and experiences with, employer-sponsored retirement, health and benefits programs (see Positive Economic Outlook Doesn’t Mean Positive Personal Outlook).