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Retirement Plan Individuals Confirmed Resilience in Robust Occasions

Retirement plan sponsors can assist individuals’ resilience by COVID-19 and the attendant labor-market shifts by specializing in important plan enhancements…

By Staff , in Retirement Accounts , at April 19, 2022

Retirement plan sponsors can assist individuals’ resilience by COVID-19 and the attendant labor-market shifts by specializing in important plan enhancements and taking account of progress.  

A latest research, “Alight 2022 Universe Benchmarks: How employees are saving and investing in outlined contribution plans,” finds that relating to retirement financial savings, employees have remained steadfast. Outlined contribution plan participation elevated in 2021 throughout virtually each outlined contribution plan key efficiency indicator, Alight’s analysis exhibits.

Common plan participation elevated to 84%, in comparison with 83% the yr earlier than and 80% in 2018, whereas the typical contribution price elevated to eight.4% from 8.3%. The typical plan steadiness reached an apex of $144,280; at the start of 2021, the typical was $130,330.

“2021 was a yr of resilience,” Alight states. “Keen to depart behind the lockdowns and social unrest that outlined 2020, Individuals met the brand new yr with optimism and a willingness to regulate to a brand new regular.”

Alight explains, “due to the [stock market] bull run, individuals who have been in plans for the previous 5 years have seen annualized median returns of 12.2%.”

The analysis was primarily based on greater than 100 plans masking 3 million eligible individuals.

Alight additionally discovered that the portion of retirement plan individuals allocating to a target-date fund has plateaued after growing over successive years. “Earlier than 2020, the proportion of individuals saving to target-date funds steadily grew to 76%,” Alight states. “Since then, the proportion slipped to 72%.”

Plan sponsors with individuals who’ve taken a mortgage from their outlined contribution plan had been at report lows, as solely 19% in 2021 had an excellent mortgage—the bottom stage since Alight started monitoring in 2000—whereas the proportion was close to 30% a decade in the past. Retirement plan hardship withdrawals additionally decreased in 2021, when 5% of retirement plan individuals took cash out.

“Whereas that is fewer than half the variety of withdrawals taken in 2020, a lot of the variation might be chalked as much as the anomaly of the entry supplied by the CARES [Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security] Act in 2020,” Alight states.

The CARES Act created an emergency retirement plan distribution possibility for coronavirus-related distributions.   

Alight additionally affords ideas from the analysis for plan sponsors to bolster plans’ participation, contributions and investments, and individuals’ buying and selling habits. 

Plan sponsors’ techniques to assist participation:


  • Promote range, fairness and inclusion within the plan
  • Add automated enrollment, if it’s not in place already
  • Assist employees prioritize retirement financial savings


Plan sponsors’ techniques to assist contributions:

  • Plan for pending laws, together with SECURE [Securing a Strong Retirement] Act 2.0, which may assist enhance financial savings charges
  • Promote tax diversification by Roth choices for individuals, as a result of Roth accounts usually permit for tax-free withdrawals in retirement
  • Elevate the ceiling on automated contribution escalation

Plan sponsors’ techniques to assist investments and buying and selling habits:

  • Add a self-directed brokerage window
  • Monitor TDF utilization
  • Present managed accounts

Alight’s report contains strategies plan sponsors can use to bolster the plan for plan balances and loans and withdrawals, and post-termination habits.




Reported by


Please contact the PLANSPONSOR Reprint Supervisor, Michelle Judkins.

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