Retirement Planning Now Top Focus for 403(b) Employee Education

For the first time ever, organizations that provide 403(b) plans reported that retirement planning, rather than increasing participation, is their top focus for employee education, according to the 12th annual 403(b) Plan Survey from the Plan Sponsor Council of America (PSCA). The survey, which is sponsored by Principal Financial Group®, also found that plan sponsors could use additional support in communicating cybersecurity measures to employees – a growing concern during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“With an increasing number of employees working remotely, all aspects of cybersecurity are top of mind for employers, yet only one in three employers initiated cybersecurity communications or awareness to employees”

“This year’s survey shows encouraging trends in retirement planning education and plan contribution rates in 2019,” said Hattie Greenan, director of research and communications at PSCA. “This is good news, particularly in view of the unique challenges this sector confronted in 2020.”

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“The fact that more 403(b) plan sponsors are making retirement planning a priority part of financial education for employees is significant,” said Kevin Morris, vice president and chief marketing officer, retirement and income solutions at Principal®. “It suggests an increased focus on retirement outcomes for employees. Consultants and financial professionals are likely helping to drive this trend as they work with organizations and plan service providers to share educational resources on saving, budgeting and debt management.”

PSCA’s 2020 403(b) Plan Survey of nearly 400 non-profit organizations across the U.S. is the only independent 403(b) research report that delivers actionable data on trends among plan sponsors in the non-profit sector. This year the survey was conducted while many non-profits and their employees faced unprecedented hardships from the health and economic impacts of COVID-19.

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