Overall, employers have failed to move the dial on overall retirement confidence levels for their female workforce, despite that demographics dominance in handling their households day-to-day expenses.
Prudential Financial recently disclosed that only 33% of the more than 1,400 women surveyed feel they are heading in the right direction for retirement planning, which was down from 46% in 2008. Meanwhile, about a third give themselves an A for their knack for managing money and 29% say they can manage debt with their eyes closed.
As a result, benefits managers are encouraged to make a particularly strong case to their female employees to help get them the education and the involvement they need to do a better job of using workplace retirement planning resources.
Despite feeling more financially secure, women dont appear to be any more prepared, said Lori Dickerson Fouché, chief executive officer of Prudential Group Insurance. Despite the financial crisis, women feel no better prepared to make a wise financial decision than they did even a decade ago.
In April, Prudential surveyed women and about 600 men between the ages of 25 and 28. While nearly half of the women note that they are the primary breadwinners and 27% of married women now control financial and retirement planning, there is still a shortfall in having enough socked away for retirement. Roughly 75% of women believe they have sufficiently saved to maintain their current lifestyles in retirement, but only 14% are very confident that they will be able to hit that goal, according to Prudentials 2014-2015 Financial Experience & Behaviors Among Women study.
Jean C. Setzfand, vice president of financial security at AARP, said there is a mixed bag of results. Citing prior research from AARP, Setzfand explained that there may be more of a sense of peace [when it comes to finances and the economy] and yet less confidence among women.
There tends to be more men that fall into this behavior of cautious clock watchers, where women tend to be more day-to-day embracers, Setzfand stated.
Even as employers are readily embracing the retirement planning needs of their diverse workforces, vital information deemed to be a confidence booster for future retirement needs seems to be falling through the cracks for women, Fouché said.
When you think about how much work employers have done [and] how much financial services firms have done to help educate, with the thought that they would instill more confidence, the messages are clearly not getting through notes Fouché.
Better access to retirement plans can also help. Setzfand explained that all employees, not just women, should really maximize the benefits that employers are providing.
Work is where you make your money and it should be the place where you save your money, Setzfand explained.
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