Secrets of successful participants

Study supports how engagement can lead to better retirement outlooks

One in five American participants identify himself or herself as feeling well-prepared for retirement. What differentiates these participants from those not feeling well prepared? Lincoln conducted a national study that examines these differences among participants.

Participants lack Retirement Readiness

Despite all good efforts to build awareness and educate participants, retirement readiness remains a top concern among plan sponsors and with good reason. According to a recent study conducted by Lincoln Financial Group, only one in five Americans feels “very prepared” for retirement. A closer look at the findings shows why this group of participants feels so confident about their financial outlooks.

In a national survey of 2,500 Americans, the 2014 Measuring Optimism, Outlook and Direction (M.O.O.D.) of America Survey examined attitudes surrounding financial and retirement well-being and found that those feeling “well-prepared” for retirement tend to take a more active approach toward retirement planning. In fact, the “well-prepared” participants are more likely to save enough and choose a guaranteed income source, and work with a financial planner.

Engagement, not awareness, leads to readiness

The study also suggests why participants don’t feel as prepared for retirement and it’s not a question of awareness. In fact, nearly all respondents indicated they know the importance of participating in their employer-sponsored retirement plans toward a secure retirement, but only one in four said they take an active role in the plans.

Overall, these findings support some of our fundamental beliefs—namely that engaging and motivating participants to take positive actions leads to better retirement outcomes. We have created communication and education programs built on this engagement model, such as our enrollment program designed to turn eligible employees into plan participants.