Workers Mostly Satisfied With Retirement Plans

October 17, 2002 ( - Nearly seven of 10 workers in a new poll said they were satisfied with their employer's savings plans while six in 10 felt good about their company's pension/retirement plans.

Watson Wyatt’s WorkUSA2002 study also found, however, that the struggling economy has taken its toll when it comes to workers’ feelings about other compensation programs.

According to the study, 45% of respondents said they were satisfied with their profit-sharing plan – down 10% from 2000. Rosy feelings about their company stock programs dipped 7% to 50% over the same period.

It was clear from the survey how important effective employee communications could be in driving workers’ attitudes about their corporate employee benefits in general.

Almost seven out of 10 (68%) employees said their company does a good job providing benefits information. The percentage of workers who believe their benefits packages compare well to those offered by other companies jumped 10 points between 2000 and 2002 to 42%, according to the study.

When it comes to specific benefits strategies, the majority of workers are satisfied with their leave benefits (71%) and health care plans (64%).

Feelings About Salaries

The picture is less positive when it comes to salaries.

A significant number of American workers believe they’re not being paid fairly – either compared to peers at other companies or to colleagues in the same firm, the study found.

According to the study 41% of respondents felt their pay equaled that of their external peers while 48% admitted their paycheck was fair compared to internal colleagues.

Employees’ pay dissatisfaction with their pay is partly due to inadequate communication, the survey noted. Only 43% of employees said their company does a good job explaining how their pay is determined, a 13-point drop since 2000 and the lowest figure for pay communication since 1994.

One out of five employees said they do not even know what their total compensation packages are worth.

The survey covered nearly 13,000 employees.