As more and more studies show that employees just aren’t saving enough for retirement, it’s incumbent upon plan sponsors to make a little extra effort to help them do so. Business Insider reports on seven ways that employers can help their employees to up their savings rates that can be relatively painless—some are steps that employers might have to incorporate into their plans, while others could be subtle nudges or part of financial wellness plans that can improve employees’ savings behavior.
It can be tough to set money aside on a regular basis, even when you know you need to. And despite the roaring results on Wall Street, that doesn’t mean that people are making enough to save enough for various goals—not that they’re all that well trained in figuring out the best way to manage their pay.
According to the report, the average American managed to stash just a little over 3 percent of disposable personal income in October, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. And that’s really pitiful, compared with, say, Japan’s savings rates of 19.3 percent; even the U.K. does almost twice as well, according to global economic data provider Trading Economics.
The psychological factor plays a big role in how, and how much—even whether—employees save, not just for emergencies like car or home repairs but also for the much more distant goal of retirement. In fact, the report points out that research points to forethought, self-control and willpower are required in substantial measure to save money—something that runs counter to our tendencies toward immediate gratification.
In the report, Nobel Prize laureate and renowned behavioral economist Richard Thaler is quoted saying in a Wall Street Journal interview that saving for retirement is “cognitively hard” and that it’s “obviously preposterous” to assume that everybody will figure out how much they have to save and actually carry out the plan. To help improve results, sometimes it’s necessary to play mind games—and there are ways to help employees play those games to win. Here are seven ways that employers can do just that: