Workers Generally Satisfied With Retirement Plans Despite Economy, Watson Wyatt Finds
Despite recent events in the economy, a majority of workers are satisfied with their current employer-sponsored retirement benefits, with many placing a high value on plans that offer security and flexibility, according to a newly released Watson Wyatt survey.
The Watson Wyatt survey finds that 54 percent of employees are satisfied with their company’s retirement program. Findings also show that employees are using company programs as their primary source of retirement savings — 61 percent of employees view their company’s retirement program as the primary vehicle to save for retirement, and nearly one-third (29 percent) would not save for retirement without it. The Watson Wyatt survey was conducted in February 2009 and includes responses from more than 2,200 full-time workers.
More employees with defined benefit plans (62 percent) are satisfied with their retirement program compared with those with only defined contribution plans (51 percent). Watson Wyatt says that this could be because many appreciate the security traditional pension plans offer: Almost half (46 percent) of employees said they would be willing to pay a higher amount out of their paycheck to ensure a guaranteed benefit in retirement.
Other findings include: two in five workers surveyed said they would be willing to pay a higher amount out of their paycheck to ensure access to health care benefits if they retire before they are eligible for Medicare; 61 percent of workers under age 40 are concerned about their future pension plan benefits being reduced, and 42 percent are concerned their future benefits will be eliminated as a result of the financial crisis; 52 percent of workers covered by a pension plan said their company’s retirement program is a key reason they continue to work for their employer compared with one-third (33 percent) of those with only a defined contribution plan, and are also more likely to want to stay with their employer until retirement (67 percent versus 54 percent of those with only a defined contribution plan).