November 2013: Save Your Retirement

It is important for retirement plan participants to be aware of their current contribution rate, as well as what it might mean for their retirement income. A proper contribution rate can mean a well-funded retirement. Conversely, contributing too little from each paycheck can leave participants with too little to spend each month throughout their retirement. Ideally, participants should be able to both view and increase their contribution rate directly from the plan site. To help, providers should also offer a range of resources that educate participants about contributions and encourage them to save more. These resources can be offered as articles, PDFs, streaming multimedia and calculators. Additionally, promotions are often the only dialogue alerting participants that their contributions might not be enough to adequately fund their retirement.
This Retirement Plan Monitor Report reviews the process of viewing and changing contribution rates, as well as the educational resources available for rates on the sites of our coverage firms. Specifically, we evaluated firms by the following criteria:

  • Accessibility of Contribution Rates Information
  • Promotional Items
  • Tools and Educational Resources

This
Retirement Plan Monitor Report analyzes the process of viewing and changing contribution rates, as well as the educational resources available for rates on the sites of
Retirement Plan Monitor firms. We found that all 17
Retirement Plan Monitor providers offer tools and educational resources dedicated to contributions. However, only 14 of the 17 firms allow participants to view and change contribution rates from their sites due to the rules of their respective plans.

 

Participant contribution rates are featured fairly prominently on participant sites. Twenty-seven percent of
Retirement Plan Monitor firms that list rates on their sites, list the participant’s contribution rates on their homepages. An additional 20% allow participants to view their deferral rate with only one click of their mouse. All of the 14 firms that allow participants to view and change rates from their sites provide access to the current rate with three clicks or less. 

Educational articles and calculators that analyze contribution rates are readily available. Calculators are offered by 53% of the firms we track, and 11 of the 17 firms offer articles. Four of the 11 firms that offer articles, however, only offer one promotional item. Additionally, promotional items encouraging participants to contribute as much as possible toward a retirement plan are not frequently available. Only 29% of the 17
Retirement Plan Monitor firms feature information on the topic.

 


The following key findings were found as well:

  • 53% of firms feature a calculator that assesses the effects of making contributions on a paycheck.
  • Only 24% provide access to a multimedia resource.
  • 35% provide promotional images and/or messaging about increasing deferral rates.
  • 43% of all applicable firms allow participants to view the current rate from the homepage.