Plan member research

Jumpstart the retirement income conversation

DC retirement income study: Jumpstart the retirement income conversation

Our 2022 retirement income study focused on plan sponsor and member preferences for turning defined contribution (DC) savings into retirement income. We teamed with leading research firm Greenwald Research on an extensive study involving connecting with 100 plan sponsors and consultants and more than 1,000 members (all working for large US organizations with at least 5,000 employees) through online surveys, in-depth interviews, and virtual focus groups­.

Effective communication is a two-way process. Three-quarters of plan members wanted their plan sponsors to start the retirement income conversation – specifically how to turn their DC plan savings into an income stream in retirement – with them earlier (at hire or when they join the plan) and continue the dialogue more frequently (annually at open enrollment).

Sponsors said they provided specific income-generating communications, but the data shows a disconnect between them and members.

Regardless of age or income level, the top three retirement income planning topics members wanted sponsors to provide communications on were determining how much money was safe to withdraw on a regular basis, estimating how much income their savings would create, and applying strategies for turning their DC plan savings into income using retirement income solutions available through their plan.

Members also wanted an online comparison tool to help them understand the differences between the retirement income solutions available in their plan (65%), offered by just half of plan sponsors.

Sponsors can help members turn their retirement plan balance into an income stream by reviewing their campaigns’ messaging to ensure the focus is on income and other relevant topics and highlighting the retirement income planning tools and calculators available to members.

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Our latest defined contribution research reflects upon the evolving retirement industry today as it faces the pressing need to help plan members turn their DC plan savings into long-term retirement income. We connected with over 100 plan sponsors and 1,000 members to better understand their preferences for creating retirement income and what features, resources, and approaches to communications resonated across the generations.

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