Alliance Bernstein conducts a bi-annual survey of Defined Contribution plan sponsors. In the survey, we interview plans that have less than one million dollars in assets up to those that have over half a billion dollars. The survey is called “Inside the mind of plan sponsors” and below are some key takeaways:
Auto-Enrollment and escalation:

  • With Auto-Enrollment, Defined Contribution Plan Participation rates are more likely to be above 70%.
  • Larger plans are more likely to automatically escalate participants savings.

Plan Design

  • Over half of the plans surveyed say they have Commingled Investments Trust’s in their plans.
  • Plan Sponsor’s greatest worry is that participants do not know how much they need to save to meet retirement needs. This was closely followed by participants not understanding their investment goals.

Participant Behavior

  • When we asked plan participants if you could prepare for retirement all over again, what would you do differently? The number one answer was to put more money away for retirement from monthly earnings.
  • Financial wellness programs are on the rise and those plans that offer them have employees that are more engaged with the organization.

Key Takeaways

  • Understand your fiduciary responsibility.
  • Review your investment lineup to see if there are opportunities for improvement.
  • Review your plan design, offer a financial wellness program, and use an advisor/consultant to help.

Germaine Harris
Bernstein Private Wealth Management