Small business owners believe American workers are facing a retirement crisis—that is, everyone except their own employees, according to a new Nationwide poll.
A survey of U.S. small business owners—those with 300 or fewer employees—reveals that 84 percent think American workers are in the midst of a retirement crisis. However, 60 percent believe their own employees are on track to retire.
That is not the only contradiction the survey of 500 small business owners revealed. Sixty-three percent say it is important for a business owner to provide retirement benefits, but only a 34 percent of them do so.
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and keep our communities moving forward,” says Joe Frustaglio, vice president and leader of private sector retirement plan sales at Nationwide. “All workers deserve access to retirement savings options, and it is evident that we've reached a point in this country where people are starting to pay attention to the fact that a retirement savings problem exists. Employers need to provide access and education, and workers need to take advantage of what's available to them.”
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses make up 99.7 percent of all employers, employ nearly 50 percent of all private-sector workers and create 63 percent of the new private-sector jobs in the country.
Of the small business owners who offer retirement benefits, the survey shows 67 percent say they plan to increase their company contribution and of those who do not offer retirement plans, 30 percent say they plan to offer these benefits in the future.
Apparently, the small business owners have a more optimistic view of the future than many analysts. Of those who offer plans and say they will increase the employee match, 56 percent expect company sales or revenue to increase in the next 12 to 24 months and 53 percent believe the U.S. economy will improve in that same period. Of those who say they will begin benefits, half say they expect sales or revenue to increase and 32 percent believe the U.S. economy will improve.
Nationwide feels the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is indirectly improving workers’ retirement preparedness. As health care becomes more available on the open market, more employers are using 401(k) plans to attract and retain workers. Thirty percent of those who plan to increase benefits say the ACA has reduced the company’s health insurance costs and 18 percent of those who plan to start offering retirement benefits say the ACA has reduced the company’s health insurance costs.
“As the health care insurance marketplace becomes more commoditized, employers are looking for new tools to attract and retain key employees,” says Frustaglio. Small business owners who do not offer 401(k) plans should talk with a financial advisor to find a suitable plan for their employees, and those who do offer plans should talk with their advisor to review the components of the plan and the investment options annually, Nationwide says.
ForUsAll, a provider of 401(k) plans for small businesses, says 401(k) plans can now be provided by all employers.