Communicating about retirement benefits is crucial for retention

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Employees say retirement benefits are important when deciding to leave an employer, but apparently many employers are missing key opportunities to talk to them about their benefits.

More than 8 in 10 employees (82%) say their benefits, especially their retirement benefits (77%) are very important in deciding whether they will change jobs, according to the 2022 Retention Survey TIAA employees. And it comes as nearly a third of employees say they plan to leave their jobs this year.

Most employees also reveal that they seek better information about their retirement savings plans from their employer, saying more educational resources and communications clarifying benefits can help build trust.

In fact, 7 in 10 think learning about retirement savings planning and understanding their plan’s investment options would be helpful, both up from 2020 (from 63% and 66%, respectively). Similarly, 68% of employees say they want their employer to help them develop a retirement strategy. This number increases among employees aged 30 to 39, with 78% saying they would like advice on how much to save each year for retirement.

Source of trust

Additional results show that 7 in 10 employees agree their employer is a trusted source of retirement-related information and advice, and 65% say the same about financial well-being. Additionally, employees who trust their employer in these areas are more likely to:

  • have a better understanding and greater satisfaction with their retirement plan;
  • believe that their employer makes efforts in terms of financial well-being, retirement preparation and financial literacy; and
  • place more importance on benefits when deciding to change employers.

Meanwhile, many employers view their current offerings as a valuable asset in attracting and retaining employees and note that they feel strongly responsible for their employees’ retirement readiness (54%) and financial well-being ( 46%). Employers who report feeling more responsible are more likely to view their benefits as a recruiting advantage and believe their employees are satisfied with their benefits. But those percentages are both down from about three-quarters of employers saying the same in 2020, the TIAA notes.

Communication efforts

Yet, while most employers say they intentionally use benefits as a retention and recruiting tool, communication about benefits could be improved, as many employees do not recall receiving information about their benefits during the process. recruitment and open enrollment. According to the findings:

  • only 16% of employees say they were informed of their current retirement plan before being hired;
  • 42% say their benefits were communicated when they started their job;
  • 54% say they received information during open registration; and
  • only a third of employers say they disclose their benefit plans before hiring an employee.

Additionally, since the start of the pandemic, most employees have acknowledged their employer’s increased focus on health and safety (64%), but only a third noted an increased focus on their financial well-being.

As such, more effort should be made to communicate benefits as a tool to help address recruitment and retention challenges, the TIAA points out.

“We know retirement benefits can make a difference for employees when considering career choices, but employers are missing critical opportunities to communicate about them,” said Raymond Bellucci, Recordkeeping Solutions Manager at TIAA. “Providing regular training and information about retirement benefits can improve retention and recruitment strategies, strengthen employee-employer relationships, and improve employee preparedness for retirement.


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