However, merely participating in a 401(k) plan is not enough. Only half (51%) of respondents feel totally on top of their 401(k) and more than one-third (35%) are stressed about choosing the right 401(k) investments.Many participants can do more to maximize the benefits of a 401(k), but face obstacles. For example:
- Despite experts' advice that participants should periodically increase their 401(k) contributions, one-third (34%) have not done so or have actually decreased their contributions in the past two years.
- 32 percent say the number one barrier to saving more is an unwillingness to sacrifice things that add to their quality of life, like dining out or vacations.
- Only 10 percent of participants are currently using professional 401(k) investment advice.
- Calculating how much money they need to save for retirement (46%)
- Determining at what age they can afford to retire (43%)
- Figuring out what their expenses will be in retirement (39%)
- Anticipating tax expenses in retirement (38%)
In fact, the survey found that people are already managing basic financial tasks at work, including paying bills (67%), taking care of personal financial issues (62%), managing their 401(k) (56%) and checking up on non-retirement investment accounts (41%)."People look at retirement savings as part of their overall financial picture," added Anderson. "Employers are in a unique position to address the needs of their employees more holistically. An increasing number of employers now recognize that a workplace financial wellness program can not only help alleviate the financial stress employees feel, but it can also increase retention, loyalty and engagement." Pocketbooks & Politics Issues around personal finance could help drive the upcoming presidential election, according to the survey. An overwhelming majority (77%) of respondents consider the ability to save enough for retirement a major public policy issue. Participants are split, though, on which presidential candidate will be better for their own economic security. Fifty-two percent say Democrat Hillary Clinton has the edge on pocketbook issues compared to Republican Donald Trump (48%). In the survey, Clinton fared better with Millennials (60%) and women (61%) while Trump's support came from Baby Boomers (55%) and men (55%). About the Survey This online survey of U.S. 401(k) participants was conducted by Koski Research for Schwab Retirement Plan Services, Inc. Koski Research is neither affiliated with, nor employed by, Schwab Retirement Plan Services, Inc. The survey is based on 1,000 interviews and has a 3 percent margin of error at the 95 percent confidence level. Survey respondents worked for companies with at least 25 employees, were current contributors to their 401(k) plans and were 25-70 years old. Survey respondents were not asked to indicate whether they had 401(k) accounts with Schwab Retirement Plan Services, Inc. All data is self-reported by study participants and is not verified or validated. Respondents participated in the study between June 2 and June 8, 2016. Detailed results can be found here. 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.