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Amid the war for talent, don’t forget the retirement plan

Written on Nov 23, 2022

A new survey reveals that, while the broad scope of workplace benefits and savings offerings for employees continues to evolve, the employer-sponsored retirement plan remains a critical component to attracting and retaining talent.  

The research, conducted by Voya, found that, among working Americans, 60% are more likely to stay with their current employer if they offer an employer-sponsored retirement plan. Equally important to working individuals were a competitive salary or compensation package (64%) and flexible work hours (63%). 

“We know that the COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed the workplace benefits and savings landscape and, as a result, many employers continue to evolve their offerings to support their workforce, particularly as an opportunity to attract and retain talent in today’s competitive market,” said Heather Lavallee, CEO, Wealth Solutions, and president and CEO-elect, Voya Financial. “At the same time, amid new offerings such as flexible or hybrid work arrangements, employers need to remember the employer-sponsored retirement plan is a critical component to helping individuals prepare for a more secure financial future.” 

With many already thinking ahead to 2023, the survey also revealed that, due to inflation, more than three-quarters (76%) of individuals are extremely likely or likely to spend less on non-essential items next year, which generally could include things such as meals out, vacations or luxury goods. At the same time, they are maintaining a focus on the long-term benefits of saving, with nearly 7-in-10 (68%) of Americans saying they have plans to save for retirement next year. This focus on preparing for the long term becomes even more important as individuals continue to want to “stay the course” despite today’s market uncertainty. For example, the survey also revealed that a majority (81%) of Americans find having a long-term view for their investments important or extremely important, with 79% agreeing on the importance of staying the course during a volatile market. 

“It’s extremely encouraging to see individuals keeping a focus on their long-term goals, despite the rollercoaster of financial extremes many have experienced over the past several years,” added Lavallee. “All employers should take note of the steadfastness that working Americans are expressing when it comes to the value of building their retirement savings through their workplace plan. This is particularly important as our survey also found that 75% of individuals plan to follow a financial plan and budget in 2023.” 

While a retirement plan remains an important aspect of the overall workplace benefits and savings package, the survey reinforced the valuable role that workplace benefits are playing in the lives of working Americans, particularly when it comes to both their health and wealth needs. More than half (52%) of employed individuals said they are more likely to stay with their current employer if they offer: physical health benefits/programs such as gym reimbursement/discounts, points/bonuses earned based on physical activity, weight loss challenges, etc., financial wellness benefits/program such as access to tools and resources for budgeting, building savings, reducing debt, etc., and a workplace emergency-savings plan (51%). In addition, nearly half (49%) are more likely to stay with their current employer if they offer access to voluntary benefit offerings like critical illness, hospital indemnity, disability income, accident insurance, etc., and 47% are more likely to stay with access to health spending and savings accounts (HSA, FSA, dependent care account).