Mercer Survey Reveals 401(k) Participants Who Use In-Plan Advice Have More Positive Retirement Outlooks

Employees who say they use advisory services offered to them in their 401(k) plan have a distinctly more positive outlook about their future retirement versus those who do not, according to an analysis of data from the recent Mercer Workplace Survey Nearly one-fifth (18%) of survey respondents say they engage with an online or in-person advisory service in their 401(k) plan. Although a relatively small percentage of the base, these participants are much more likely to feel that they will have enough money for retirement, can live as well or better than when working and will not have to delay retirement (See Figure 1).

Figure 1: Expectations in Retirement: which of these statements below do you expect will be true for you in retirement?


Those who engaged with in-plan advice in the past year
I will have enough money to pay for health care         35%         49%
I will live as well or better as I did when I was working         29%         40%
I will be able to help out younger family members with tuition or housing expenses         15%         26%
I will be able to leave money to family members or charities         23%         33%
I will be in a position to travel extensively         16%         24%
I will run out of money         21%         17%
I will have to reduce my standard of living         44%         34%
I will consider delaying retirement         44%         34%
I will work at least part time in retirement         52%         38%

Source: Mercer Workplace Survey

This year’s Mercer Workplace Survey also revealed that awareness and availability of in-plan investment advice is high; in fact 79% of participants said that their plan offers some type of advice (online, in-person/telephonic, or both) up from 72% in 2011.

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