401(k) Wish List

Most workers think 401(k)s could use a few improvements.


Most retirement savers think their 401(k) could use a few improvements. Employees would like all companies to offer retirement accounts and would appreciate more advice about how to save and invest for retirement, according to a recent ING U.S. Retirement Services and Ipsos Public Affairs telephone survey of 1,000 adults. Here’s what is on the 401(k) wish list.

Retirement income projections. Most employees (84 percent) are interested in knowing how much income their nest egg could generate if they converted that amount into a monthly income stream in retirement. They would also like to know how long their retirement savings is likely to last them.

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More employer help. Workers think employers should be more involved in explaining how much employees need to save for retirement and how to successfully invest accumulations. Some 83 percent of workers think companies should provide education about how much to save and invest. Some workers (43 percent) also said the government should take steps to educate the public about retirement products and services.

Better investment options. 401(k) plans generally offer a limited selection of investment choices. Most Americans (88 percent) want a more diverse selection of investment options in their workplace retirement savings account. Perhaps all 401(k)s could also have a few low cost investment options and make the fees and expenses of funds more transparent.

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Universal retirement benefits. Just over three quarters of the workers surveyed think employers of all sizes should make some type of retirement savings plan available to employees. Workers with a retirement plan connected to their job are more likely to be proactively saving and investing for retirement, ING found.

Automatic savings. Three quarters of employees are also interested in options that make saving automatic, such as encouraging increased contribution levels from paychecks (22 percent) and promoting greater participation (20 percent). Other ideas to increase 401(k) participation include getting rid of waiting periods before you may participate in a retirement account and long vesting periods before you can keep your 401(k) match.

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More secure investments. About a quarter of Americans would like to increase the security of retirement savings and investments so they last throughout one's lifetime and don’t go down in value.

Tell us, how would you like to see your 401(k) improved?