Matching contributions to an employer-sponsored retirement plan(ESRP) can more than double the savings of the average planparticipant.

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That’s according to a new study from Hearts & Wallets.“Retirement Income Programs and Employer-SponsoredRetirement Plan Engagement” found that on their own, planparticipants just aren’t doing all that well in putting away moneyfor retirement.

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Although average annual household savings increased over thepast year from 4.6 percent in 2013 to 5.5 percent in 2014, averagehousehold savings that went into ESRPs fell 7 percentage pointsover that same year, going from 29 percent in 2013 to 22 percent in2014.

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Eligible and participating households fell from 60 percent in2013 to 56 percent in 2014.

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Because not all ESRPs offer matching funds, the effect of suchmatches aren’t quite as readily quantified as other influences.

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However, Hearts & Wallets found that, while the averagesaver will manage to save $1,200, the effect of a matching employercontribution can act as super motivation.

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Read: Retirement bills would allow highermatches

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People who care a lot about taking the maximum advantage ofemployer matching funds will more than double their savings, from$1,400 to $2,600.

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Middle-income savers who are on the receiving end of a matchmanage to save the most. It motivates them to sock away 2.5 timesas much as they would without the employer kicking in.

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That kind of help is great, but it’s not the whole answer, thestudy said. It also found that older investors need help inmanaging their retirement resources—and that need is up 27 percentin two years.

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Read: Millennials aren't meeting their match (in401(k)s)

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More than a third (33–42 percent) of older Americans, accordingto the study, want services that execute a retirement incomeprogram, monitor progress, and minimize taxes and income acrossmultiple accounts. And they’re not getting it.

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The single element of those services most in demand is the partthat makes recommendations for minimizing taxes.

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And the demand for it is greatest at employer-basedproviders/“stores,” Hearts & Wallet’s term for retail anddefined contribution providers that work directly withinvestors.

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