As part of the report, Cerulli surveyed 401(k) plan sponsors and found that their top priority for 2020 was improving financial well-being programs for employees, followed by maximizing participants' savings, maintaining a competitive retirement benefit and reducing plan administration and investment costs.

"Mindful that employees may have conflicting commitments—from paying down debt and budgeting for healthcare to saving for future education expenses—plan sponsors are striving to help participants navigate their workplace benefits and save for retirement while addressing other financial concerns," the report said.

Other findings in the report include:

• Retirement market assets saw a five-year compound annual growth rate of about 3.9% from 2013 to 2018. The 2018 fiscal crisis led to a 4.2% decrease, or about $1 trillion, in total U.S.retirement market assets.

• With a little less than $9 trillion in assets, individual retirement accounts represented the largest segment of the U.S. retirement market at the end of 2018 with $9 trillion in assets. That was followed by corporate defined-contribution plans and public defined-benefit plans.

• State and local government defined-benefit plans had a $1.1 trillion funding gap at the end of 2018.

• Larger plan sponsors are more likely to incorprate environmental, social and governance (ESG) investments into their 401(k) plans. In a survey, 56% of large sponsors rate ESG factors as “very important,” compared to only 32% of small plan sponsors.

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