LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill., Jan. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As the financial landscape continues to evolve in a challenging economic environment, workers are under more pressure than ever before to save for their future. A new survey by Aon Hewitt, the global human resources solutions business of Aon plc (NYSE: AON), reveals that improving the financial wellness of their workforce has become a bigger priority for many employers. To help employees save and prepare for retirement, employers are taking steps to ensure workers understand the financial resources they need to retire, while also offering more sophisticated defined contribution (DC) plan features that make investing easier and more accessible.
Aon Hewitt surveyed more than 425 U.S. employers, representing 11 million employees, to determine their current and future retirement benefits strategies. According to Aon Hewitt, workers need 11 times their final pay to meet their financial needs in retirement, but the average U.S. worker has a savings shortfall of 2.2 times pay. Aon Hewitt's survey shows that to help bridge this gap, most employers (80 percent) are making financial wellness a top priority in 2013. Almost two-thirds (61 percent) are looking beyond current participation and savings rates and are helping workers evaluate their retirement readiness, up from 50 percent in 2012. Additionally, 86 percent of companies plan to focus communications initiatives on helping workers evaluate and understand how much they need to save for retirement.
"Employers understand that financial wellness is more than what workers are doing today in terms of savings in their retirement programs—that it's evaluating whether their long-term investment strategies are positioning them to be ready when it comes time to retire, and whether other priorities are getting in the way," said Patti Balthazor Björk, director of Retirement Research at Aon Hewitt. "Helping workers get an accurate picture of their future needs and whether they are on track to meet those needs, and helping them create a roadmap for achieving those goals is paramount."