10. Foster an aging-friendly work environment.

Older workers need accommodation and inclusion too.

The report says employers should “adopt diversity and inclusion business practices that include age among other commonly referenced demographic factors (e.g., gender, race, religion, sexual orientation).”

9. Help older workers phase into retirement.

Don’t make it an open/shut door. Create an atmosphere in which older workers can gradually move toward retirement by allowing for a transition from full time to part time and/or working in different capacities.

Employers can take advantage of such transition periods to obtain mentoring for younger workers, too.

8. Offer preretirees greater levels of assistance in planning their transition into retirement.

Educate them about retirement income strategies so as to help savings to last their lifetime.

Make sure they understand retirement plan distribution options and the need for a backup plan if health issues, job loss, family obligations or other issues force them into retirement sooner than expected. Provide information about Social Security and Medicare.

7. Provide education about saving and investing that is easy to understand.

Both existing employees and new hires need information they can understand that will advance their retirement savings goal—which, incidentally, they should be taught how to calculate.

Make sure they know about the Saver’s Credit, as well as principles of saving and investing. New hires need to be educated about the plan as well as any options available to roll over their accounts from previous employers.

6. Structure matching contribution formulas so that they encourage higher salary deferrals.

For instance, instead of matching 100 percent of the first three percent of deferrals, change the match to 50 percent of the first six percent of deferrals.

It will encourage employees to save at a higher rate.

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5. Limit the number of loans available in the retirement plan.

Make sure employees know the damage that plan leakage can do to their eventual retirement.

Educate them about the ramifications of taking loans and withdrawals from retirement accounts, as well as the need to prepare for emergencies and nonroutine expenses so that they can avoid incurring excessive debt.

4. Consider adding automatic enrollment and escalation features.

Studies have shown that automatic features that require employees to opt-out rather than opt-in not only increase participation rates, but boost savings rates.

The inertia that keeps employees from signing up in the first place or setting contribution rates once and leaving them alone can actually work in their favor with auto-enrollment and auto-escalation—although both should be set higher than the bare minimum that many companies use.

3. Extend retirement plan eligibility to part-time workers.

If that’s not practical, give them the opportunity to save for retirement in an IRA via payroll deduction.

2. Offer other health and welfare benefits that can enhance and protect workers’ long-term financial security.

Benefits such as health insurance, disability insurance, life insurance, employee assistance programs, workplace wellness and financial wellness programs, long-term care and other insurance can help protect employees’ overall security.

Assistance with tuition repayment can also go a long way toward helping younger employees start earlier and go farther in saving for retirement.

1. Offer a retirement plan or achieve efficiencies by joining a multiple employer plan (MEP).

If your company doesn’t already offer a retirement plan, take advantage of the tax credit available for starting a retirement plan or joining a MEP.

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The findings of the latest Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies study, A Retirement Security Retrospective: 2007 Versus 2017, indicate that “American workers are more secure in their retirement preparations now than before the Great Recession.”

But that doesn’t mean they’ve got a handle on the situation, since many are still recovering and lack anywhere near enough savings to see them safely through retirement. In fact, the study finds that “there are still major areas for further improving retirement security.”

That becomes obvious when considering the fact that in 2017, 58 percent of workers indicated that they had not yet fully recovered from the Great Recession. Of that number,

  • 38 percent had somewhat recovered
  • 13 percent had not yet begun to recover
  • 7 percent believed they may never recover

And 49 percent of employers said their companies were still recovering (49 percent).

Keeping that struggle in mind, employers can take action to help their older workers—and not just help them out the door. Of course younger workers need to be hired as some older employees retire, but employers can view older workers as assets. And help them with additional opportunities to work and save.

Above are 10 ways in which Transamerica says employers can help their workforce have a secure retirement.

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