One in three employees is considering leaving their jobs this year. Communicating about retirement benefits could retain them.

Employees say retirement benefits are highly important when deciding whether or not to leave an employer. Yet employers are missing key opportunities to tell them about their offerings, TIAA survey finds.

NEW YORK, June 22, 2022 – For the more than 30% of U.S. employees who say they are considering a job switch this year, benefits programs are often a crucial factor.

TIAA’s 2022 Employee Retention survey shows a substantial majority (82%) of employees say their benefits—specifically their retirement benefits (77%)—are highly important in deciding whether they will change jobs.

The survey also reveals a majority (68%) of employees are seeking better information about their retirement savings plans from their employer. Employees also say more educational resources and communications clarifying benefits can help build trust. Workers who trust their employer place an even higher importance on benefits when making career decisions. Other key survey findings include:

  • Just 16% of employees say they received information about their current retirement plan before being hired.
  • Less than half (42%) say their benefits were communicated when they first started their job.
  • Just over half (54%) say they received information during open enrollment.
  • Only one-third of employers say they communicate about their benefits plans before hiring an employee.

“We know that retirement benefits can be a significant difference-maker for employees when they’re considering career choices, yet employers are missing critical opportunities to communicate about them,” said Raymond J. Bellucci, head of Recordkeeping Solutions at TIAA. “Regularly providing education and information about retirement benefits can enhance retention and recruitment strategies, build stronger employee-employer relationships and boost employees’ retirement preparedness.”

Many employers see their current offerings as a valuable asset for attracting and retaining employees and note that they feel a high degree of responsibility for their employees’ retirement preparedness (54%) and financial wellness (46%). Employers who report feeling more responsible are more likely to see their benefits as a recruiting advantage, think their employees are satisfied with their benefits, and are more likely to provide in-plan options for Guaranteed Lifetime Income in retirementOpens in a new window.

However, employees aren’t seeing their employers’ efforts to improve their finances. Since the beginning of the pandemic, most employees have recognized their employers’ increased focus on health and safety (64%), but just one-third noted a heightened focus on their financial wellness. A majority (68%) of employees also say they would like their employer’s help developing a retirement strategy. This number increases among employees ages 30-39; 78% reported they would like guidance on how much to save each year for retirement. 

Employers will likely continue to face recruitment and retention challenges as employees navigate the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and an unpredictable labor market. Communicating regularly about all benefits, especially retirement benefits, and providing employees with additional financial wellness resources can support recruitment and retention efforts and improve retirement outcomes.

To see the survey’s executive summary click hereOpens pdf.

About TIAA

TIAA is a leading provider of secure retirements and outcome-focused investment solutions to millions of people and thousands of institutions. It is the #1 not-for-profit retirement market provider1, paid more than $6.4 billion in lifetime income to retired clients in 2021 and has $1.3 trillion in assets under management (as of 3/31/2022)2.

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Elizabeth Anderson
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1.  As of Dec. 31, 2020. Based on data in PLANSPONSOR's 403(b) Market Survey, which published in August 2021.

2.  As of March 31, 2022 assets under management across Nuveen Investments affiliates and TIAA investment management teams are $1.321 trillion.

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