Younger Folks Expect Their Employer to Take the Lead on Retirement Planning

People younger than 30 truly are "do-it-for-me" investors.

Workers younger than 30 really expect their employer to take control of their retirement plan, J.P. Morgan learned from surveying defined contribution plan participants.

Sixty-nine percent of these participants identify themselves as “do-it-for-me” investors, compared with 56% of those older than 30. They are also more likely to appreciate receiving a notice from their employer if they are not saving enough (62% versus 34%).

The younger group also wants their employer to make their investment decisions (82% versus 73%). In addition, 50% of those younger than 30 think their employer is obliged to make their investment decisions for them, compared to 22% of those older than 30.

Eighty-four percent of the younger workers are in favor of automatic enrollment, compared to 72% of their older colleagues, and 86% like the idea of automatic escalation, compared to 70% of those older than 30. They also think that target-date funds are appealing (97% versus 87%) and are open to the idea of re-enrollment (93% versus 79%).

“Those under 30 recognize the challenge they face in saving and investing for retirement and appear very receptive to the knowledge, tools and guidance that employers and advisers can provide,” says Catherine Peterson, global head of insights programs at J.P. Morgan. “These findings may help assure plan sponsors that their efforts to strengthen their plans and proactively place employees on a solid path to a secure retirement will likely be met with support among current and future generations of participants.”