Most Workers Would Take Pay Cut for ‘More Generous’ Retirement Plan

Study finds employees are less enthusiastic about financial tools and services

401k, retirement plan, employee benefits, Willis Towers WatsonThey'll happily pay for retirement success.

They’ve said it before and they’re saying it again, employees want more help from employers when it comes to achieving a secure retirement.

In fact, the latest research from Willis Towers Watson discovered the majority of U.S. workers would even forgo some of their pay for better retirement benefits.

According to its 2017 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey, “two-thirds of respondents (66 percent) said they would be willing to pay more each month for larger, more generous retirement benefits, while 61 percent would give up more pay to have a guaranteed retirement benefit.”

Contrarily, those surveyed were less enthusiastic about paying for tools and services that could help them improve their finances. Only 19 percent of survey respondents were willing to pay for such offerings and just 27 percent “believe initiatives to help them manage their finances meet their needs.”

Although the study suggests there is room for improvement, a majority of respondents are fairly satisfied with their retirement benefits. Nearly six in 10 (59 percent) indicated that their current plan is sufficient for their needs.

“Employers need to recognize that employee appreciation of their total benefit package has a positive impact on employee engagement,” Julie Stone, Willis Towers Watson’s managing director of Health and Benefits for North America, said in a statement. “Our research shows just over half of employees whose benefit package meets their needs are highly engaged in their job compared to just 25 percent of employees reporting a high level of engagement when they believe their benefit package does not meet their needs.”

Overall, workers would appreciate greater flexibility in their benefit programs as opposed to a “one-size-fits-most approach,” Stone added. Many indicated an interest in a broader array of offerings, again, for which they would be willing to take a pay cut.

Among those surveyed:

  • 58 percent would give up part of their paycheck for more time off;
  • 55 percent would trade a portion of their wage for a more generous health care plan; and
  • 48 percent “would welcome more financial protection benefits, reflecting a growing interest and need for benefits to help employees address their financial needs.”

The study, conducted in July and August of 2017, polled nearly 5,000 Americans working in the private sector.

1 Comment on "Most Workers Would Take Pay Cut for ‘More Generous’ Retirement Plan"

  1. Nearly all workers allready have the option to reduce their pay and have better retirement benefits. Just increase your 401k contributions and HSA contributions to the maximum allowed.

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