Benefit directors nationwide believe their organizations are not doing enough to help employees make critical decisions at the point of retirement, according to a recent survey.
In the survey of 401 benefit program decision makers by Minneapolis-based Transamerica Retirement Management, nearly half of the survey respondents don’t think their company sufficiently prepares employees to successfully manage resources during retirement. And 81% of decision makers said they are concerned their employees don’t have the resources to adequately provide for their retirement.
As a result, 47% of the benefit program decision makers believe the lack of resources could increase the number of employees who delay retiring, according to Transamerica. One division of the company focuses on solving the issues found in the survey.
Benefit managers also believe their employees lack the ability to make sound retirement preparation decisions. In the survey, 35% of decision makers rated employees as “somewhat not capable” or “not capable,” while 45% rated employees as “neutral.”
Retirement means a drastic change for employees -- who often look to HR departments to help them navigate the ever-changing waters. “The landscape of retirement has changed drastically because individuals [are] much more responsible for solving their retirement needs,” explains Will Prest, Transamerica’s chief marketing officer.
It’s therefore becoming a huge impediment on human resources departments. As more and more baby boomers start to retire, they are increasingly looking toward the employer for help, he says.
In retirement, “your whole world is different,” Prest adds. “It’s a lot of people coming to HR and asking difficult questions, [so] HR just reading through the manual is not enough.”
As self-service programs increase, Prest says that retirement planning is “not the right place to have self-service, to be completely on your own.”
Many HR directors are even afraid to offer advice to their employees, he says. It’s become “a new issue that will become [a] . . . glaring issue with those who have an aging workforce,” he adds. “How can they really understand what it means to [help employees’ and their organization.”
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