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Steve Anderson, Executive Vice President Of Schwab Retirement Plan Services (Photo: Business Wire)

Most importantly, the survey found that investment confidence nearly doubles when workers have the help of a financial professional. Approximately one-third (32%) of survey participants expressed confidence in making the right 401(k) investment choices based on their own ability, compared to 61 percent if they also had the help of a financial professional.

“Getting more workers engaged in professional 401(k) advice should be a top priority for employers. We’ve seen the positive impact it can have on both behaviors and outcomes,” said Anderson. “At Schwab Retirement Plan Services, Inc., participants who used third-party, professional 401(k) advice tended to increase their savings rate, were better diversified and stayed the course in their investing decisions,” he noted.*

Additional findings

Other findings show respondents are engaged and place a priority on their 401(k):
  • Save it, don’t spend it: Given a choice about how to use a $5,000 bonus, nearly two-thirds (64%) would save it in their 401(k) rather than take the cash now. Forty-eight percent immediately chose the 401(k) route and an additional 16% chose the 401(k) after tax consequences were explained.
  • Post-crisis recovery: Seventy-four percent of respondents said their 401(k)s have recovered from the financial crisis about as fast or even faster than expected.
  • Check the index: Nearly three-quarters (74%) would rather pay low investment fees for index funds than pay higher fees for actively managed funds that could potentially outperform the market, but may also carry greater risk.

About the Survey

This online survey of U.S. 401(k) participants was conducted by Koski Research for Schwab Retirement Plan Services, Inc. The survey is based on 1004 interviews and has a three percent margin of error at the 95% confidence level. Survey respondents worked for companies with at least 25 employees, were current contributors to their 401(k) plans and were 25-75 years old. Survey respondents were not asked to indicate whether they had accounts with Charles Schwab. All data is self-reported by study participants and is not verified or validated. Respondents participated in the study between June 5 and June 11, 2013. Detailed findings can be found at www.aboutschwab.com/press/research.

About Charles Schwab

At Charles Schwab we believe in the power of investing to help individuals create a better tomorrow. We have a history of challenging the status quo in our industry, innovating in ways that benefit investors and the advisors and employers who serve them, and championing our clients’ goals with passion and integrity.

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