Sponsored jointly by Deloitte, the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, and the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists, the Annual 401(k) Benchmarking Survey measures the essential aspects of 401(k) plans for major US companies. The annual survey offers a detailed snapshot of the 401(k) policies, features, objectives and expectations of hundreds of diverse employers. This year a total of 606 companies responded to the survey, representing a wide distribution of employers in terms of geography, size, and industry and ownership structure (publicly or privately held).
The continuing economic downturn is a source of anxiety for employers and employees alike. Combined with the uncertainty of what recovery will eventually mean to participants, it is understandable that both employers and employees are adopting a “wait and see” This year’s survey shows that employers are concerned about their employees’ financial preparations for retirement, sufficiently supporting their plans, and considering them important tools in overall benefit program design.
Among the notable findings:
17% of plan providers surveyed indicated an increase in deferral rate changes, hardship withdrawals, loans, and other similar activities.
A third (38%) reported their employees decreased their deferral rates for 2009, with the majority (60%) holding steady at their current level of contribution.
12% of employers surveyed indicated an upswing in opt-outs from auto-enrolment programs.
Almost one-fifth (19%, up 2 percentage points from last year) of plan sponsors believe “very few” of their employees will be financially prepared for retirement.
More than three-quarters (79%) of employers surveyed are still fairly confident that their plan is effective for recruiting talent, and 68% say it helps with retention.
In addition to the full report, industry data is also available for:
- Consumer & Industrial Products/Services
- Energy & Resources
- Financial Services/Insurance
- Health Care & Life Sciences
- Public Sector/Not for Profit
- Technology, Media & Telecommunications
The full report and industry data can be downloaded from the Deloitte website
Photo from Creative Commons: Flickr: Steve Weavers