Smartphone Use Soars for DC Plan Participants

August 7, 2014 ( – Retirement plan participants find they can take it with them, as smartphone use overtakes usage of PCs and Macs, according to a study by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner.

Mobile tech usage dips in contrast to rising age, with the younger demographics the biggest users of smartphones, according to Spectrem’s study, “DC participant Mobile Technology Usage.”

A majority of defined contribution (DC) plan participants—eight in ten—report using a smartphone with Internet access and applications (apps), which is slightly higher than PC/Mac users (78%). Tablet and e-reader use lags both, at just 62% of respondents.

Smartphone use by DC plan participants is up significantly from last year’s 71%, while PC/Mac usage shows only a faint increase (79%). Tablet and e-reader use is also trending upward. In 2013, usage on these devices was 57%.

The youngest respondents in the study show the highest use of smartphones, at 91% for those younger than 35. Survey respondents between 35 and 49 are still heavy users, at 82%. Just 74% of people older than 50 use a smartphone. Tablet and e-reader use also dips with age. Just 53% of those older than 50 use them. Age is not a significant factor in PC/Mac use, with 80% of those younger than 35 and 78% of their older counterparts reporting PS/Mac use.

Male plan participants are more old-school than women when it comes to mobile technology. Eighty-five percent use a PC or Mac versus 71% of women, while 63% of women use a tablet or e-reader, compared with 61% of men.