A new study from Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust implies retirement plan sponsors need to do more to help employees focus on getting the most out of their retirement plan. Employers still view retirement plans mainly as a benefit rather than as the primary means for their employees to support themselves after retirement, according to the firm.

"For most Americans, retirement will be self-funded through a 401(k) plan, and we continue to believe that employers play a crucial part in helping employees see the magnitude and the importance of that task," said Joe Ready, director of Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust. "Plan sponsors need to embrace their role in helping employees focus on maximizing their retirement plan."

According to the survey, fewer than half (45 percent) say the "primary" goal of offering a retirement plan to their employees is to "provide employees with the means to achieve a financially sound retirement." Rather, the majority (51 percent) say the primary reason they offer a retirement plan is to "provide competitive benefits to attract and retain employees."

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