Surprising findings offer opportunities

The Lincoln Retirement Power® surveys revealed surprising findings that may help participants save more and encourage non-participants to join their retirement plans.

Reasons participants aren’t saving more

When participants are asked why they aren’t saving as much as they should save, the number one answer (48%), not surprisingly, is that they can’t afford to save more.1 What is surprising, however, is the number two reason (24%): “I intend to increase my contribution, but I haven’t gotten around to it.”2 Ability and motivation to save are key challenges.

Use communication and education to motivate

About a quarter of participants want to save more but need a reminder or a little push. Use communication and education to motivate them to increase their contributions. And it works: 74% of participants who increased their contribution rates in the past year say one or more communication and education offerings motivated their decisions.3

Top motivators to increase contributions4

One-on-one, in-person meeting

Among those who attended a one-on-one meeting, 60% increased their contribution rates

Calculators or worksheets

Among those who used a calculator, 58% increased their contribution rates

Retirement income projections

Among those who projected their retirement income, 52% increased their contribution rates

Information on plan provider’s website

Among those who visited their plan provider's website 4+ times, 47% increased their contribution rates

Make increasing contributions as easy as possible. Our Click2Contribute tool allows participants to increase their contributions online with just a couple of clicks.

Non-participants intend to join…eventually

Another surprising finding is that 65% of non-participants plan to contribute to their current employer’s plan…eventually. That’s a significant percentage! Among those who plan to contribute eventually:5

  • 42% plan to do so after a certain time
  • 35% plan to do so after something specific occurs
  • 22% say they don’t know when they’ll start

Maybe not surprising is that among those waiting for something specific to happen, many are waiting for their debt to be paid off.

Employer match is a strong motivator

How can you get non-participants to act? An employer match is a strong incentive.

Hypothetical likelihood to participate if a match were offered6

Among non-participants whose employers don't offer a match

79% would participate if a 3% match were offered. 80% would participate if a 6% match were offered. 82% would participate if a 10% match were offered.

So is making it easy to enroll. Our simplified online enrollment is fast and easy. Employees can enroll in a few minutes.

Non-participants are receptive to messaging

Even though they aren’t saving in the plan, 76% of non-participants engaged with plan-related materials in the past year, some more than once.

Activities completed by non-participants in the past year7

bar chart showing activities completed by non-participants in past year

Visited the website of the company’s retirement plan provider: 26% more than once, 24% once, 46% never, 4% not sure.
Spoke to coworkers about saving for retirement: 25% more than once, 26% once, 46% never, 3% not sure.
Attended a group meeting at work in which the company retirement savings plan was discussed: 17% more than once, 19% once, 60% never, 4% not sure.
Spoke to a supervisor or someone in HR at the office about saving for retirement: 12% more than once, 20% once, 64% never, 4% not sure.
Attended a one-on-one meeting with a representative of the company’s retirement plan provider: 11% more than once, 18% once, 67% never, 5% not sure.

Non-participants think about the plan, and many intend to contribute eventually, while many participants intend to increase their contributions but haven’t done it yet. Use relevant, engaging communication and make it easy to take action to help turn non-participants into participants and encourage participants to save more.

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What else did participants say?

Power positive outcomes with more insights from the survey.

Read the research