The Aegon Retirement Readiness Survey for 2015, titled Inspiring a World of Habitual Savers, just came out and showed that habitual savers are more prepared than those that save periodically. While this may not come as a surprise to many, the survey highlights just how far ahead someone who saves consistently is compared to those that do not save.
The survey measures how prepared people are across many countries, using the Aegon Retirement Readiness Index (ARRI) which was created in 2012. Habitual savers, who make up only 39% of employees across the globe, are twice as likely to achieve a high ARRI score compared with the overall average. Three-quarters of people who are habitual savers achieved at least a medium ARRI, while less than half of those who save occasionally made it to that level.
One of the more surprising statistics from the survey was that 70% of those surveyed in the U.S. found automatic enrollment at a 6% deferral rate appealing. This plan feature may help the 22% of people that are not currently saving for retirement but have plans to do so. It is just another reminder that companies must use a multi-pronged approach – plan design, investment simplicity, and education – to help their employees save for retirement. Their recommendations include making financial planning easy, targeted financial education in the workplace, equal access for full-time and part-time employees, and automatic enrollment.
With an increase in life expectancy and continuously changing pension landscape, the realization that many may not be ready for retirement is becoming clearer each day. Employees who are better prepared for retirement help everyone. Aegon calls for employees, employers and governments to work together to change the behavior of savers.
We know savings is the most important driver in meeting retirement goals. Our main focus should be on that goal and what we must do to improve it.