Healthcare participant engagement

The Lincoln Retirement Power® Participant Engagement Study reveals details of plan participant behavior in the healthcare sector. With healthcare workers exhibiting a lower level of engagement than other participants, it’s vital to use their particular characteristics to maximize your engagement efforts and help them best prepare for retirement.

Healthcare insights

Healthcare workers and non-healthcare workers are similar in their mix of decision-making styles and their underlying financial and savings behaviors. But healthcare participants are distinctive in three important areas—engagement level, motivation, and outcomes.


Healthcare workers are less engaged with their retirement plans than those who work outside the industry. They visit plan websites less frequently, are less likely to use calculators or read plan materials, and check their account balances less often. Gender plays a factor in these results. Within the healthcare segment, men are far less engaged than women—and their engagement levels are less than half those of men in non-healthcare jobs. In a year, men in healthcare visit plan websites an average of 3.9 times and check their account balances 4.3 times. Women in healthcare interact with websites an average of 5.3 times and check balances 6.8 times, while those numbers for men in non-healthcare fields are 8.8 and 10.9, respectively.

So while women represent almost two-thirds of healthcare workers, it’s important not to forget about the men. Focus engagement efforts on both men and women to increase their retirement readiness. Low engagement levels may present a challenge, but the powerful motivation of the high-touch model may offer the solution.


When it comes to motivating healthcare workers, nothing beats one-on-one guidance. While this is also a motivating factor for non-healthcare workers, healthcare participants are almost twice as likely to rate meeting with a financial professional as extremely or very motivating (43% vs. 25% for non-healthcare workers). Provide access to a financial professional through group meetings or one-on-one sessions to motivate employees to take steps toward better retirement outcomes. Healthcare workers also cite changing jobs as a highly motivating factor, so target new employees to make a positive impact.


Both healthcare and non-healthcare workers place importance on saving for retirement, but, overall, healthcare workers tend to have saved less in their plans. Gender plays a role here, as well; men in healthcare fall behind men in other industries in terms of account balances. Outside of healthcare, 40% of men say they have at least $100,000 in their retirement plans, but only 29% of men in healthcare say the same. Women in healthcare are only slightly behind women in other industries (28% have $100,000 vs. 30% for non-healthcare workers). To help them catch up, concentrate communications on the less engaged, as they’re more likely to have lower plan balances and contributions. Retirement saving is a high priority for this group, so a focused effort may encourage them to take action and spur an improvement in outcomes.

Learn more with Lincoln Retirement Power

Read our report to find out more about healthcare worker engagement and to learn strategies for driving positive participant behaviors.

Download the report.

Download white paper.


This research is based on a national survey of 2,508 full-time workers ages 22 to 68 who have been contributing to their employer’s defined contribution retirement plan for at least one year. The sample is weighted to represent the national population of retirement plan participants, using the same methodology implemented in the first wave of the study, conducted in 2012.

The current report analyzes the survey results with regard to healthcare employees.