Assumptions, Assessments and Actions:

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1 Assumptions, Assessments and Actions: Plan Sponsor Views of Participant Support and Advisor Partnerships 2014 FINDINGS OF NATIONAL SURVEY OF PLAN SPONSORS

2 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY While working Americans are responsible for their financial security in retirement and most expect their workplace savings plans to provide that source of income, employers also place a high premium on their own mission to deliver that vehicle for saving. However, questions about the effectiveness of employee education, the role of automatic programs and the help of service providers all contribute to sponsors abilities to help participants. A survey was conducted in the first quarter of 2014 to better understand plan sponsors perspectives. This study sought to gain insight into how employers view their plan objectives, the support of their advisors and service providers, and their beliefs around employee behavior. A total of 310 plan sponsors were surveyed representing plan assets of less than $25 million through $100 million. The study revealed that plan sponsors: View their most important goal as striving to ensure financial security for their participants. Value participant communication and education programs but feel these efforts have fallen short. Underestimate how much intervention participants want and expect from them. Count on the expertise of their advisors and will look to advisors for even more help in the future. Sponsors share top goals and concerns Plan sponsors are committed to helping their participants achieve successful outcomes and have some concerns about the intricacies in delivering that result. When it comes to goals of offering a retirement plan, employers place much higher importance on striving for a secure retirement for employees and building a solid employee base than they do on corporate image and reputation. How important is each of the following corporate goals when it comes to offering a retirement savings plan? (n=310) To support employees efforts to have a secure retirement 62% To attract and retain workers 54% To enhance corporate image and reputation 21% 29% 12% To be a paternalistic company 11% 26% 36% 2 Extremely important Somewhat important Very important Not important 2

3 Plan sponsors are generally concerned about their employees level of retirement readiness and view the company match as the most important indicator of potential success. How important is the following in assessing the success of your retirement plan? (n=310) Percent of eligible employees taking full advantage of the match (n=254) 4 14% % who formally measure each 81% Overall participation rate % 83% Employee self-reported satisfaction with the plan 52% 14% 4 Participation rate of non-highly compensated employees 44% 22% 6 General contribution rate 24% 51% 22% 72% How ready employees are for retirement % 4% 2 Percent of employees who contribute the maximum % Extremely important Somewhat important Very important Not important Plan sponsors believe they do a solid job in maintaining plan participation, but their lowest area is their employees ability to retire. Fewer than 30 percent measure employees retirement readiness. How well do you think your company does on each of the following measures given your industry and employee population? (n=310) Overall participation rate 1 4% Percent of eligible employees taking full advantage of the match (n=254) 19% 34% 13% Participation rate of non-highly compensated employees 15% 4% General contribution rate 11% 13% Employee self-reported satisfaction with the plan 12% 10% 4% Percent of employees who contribute the maximum 9% 2 1 6% 4% How ready employees are for retirement 5% 1 39% 21% 10% Excellent job Very good job Good job Fair job Poor job Don t know 3

4 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY How concerned are you about each of the following? (n=310) That employees are not saving enough to be ready for retirement 33% 39% 13% That employees do not pay attention to information you provide 34% 41% 1 Compliance issues involved in giving advice 6% 2 36% That employees are liquidating their accounts or taking loans too often 20% 41% That employees are investing too conservatively 5% 39% 41% That you may not be meeting your fiduciary obligation to offer reasonable investment options 4% 26% 55% That employees are taking too much risk with their investments 4% 11% 54% Extremely concerned Somewhat concerned Very concerned Not concerned Few employers are very concerned about their liability with respect to the retirement plan. Of those who are concerned, participants market losses and their inability to retire are the biggest areas of worry. When you think about your retirement plan, how concerned are you about liability issues that employees may sue you if they don t achieve the results they feel they should? (n=310) Not sure Very concerned 2% Not concerned 63% Somewhat concerned 2 4

5 How concerned are you that you will be sued by one or more employees? Of those who are concerned about liability issues (n=129) That experienced a big loss in a down market 10% 41% 10% That are unable to retire on what they have saved 14% 39% 15% That did not achieve the returns they expected 44% 14% Who claim that you did not offer enough investment options 11% 2 24% Who claim that you did not educate them well enough 29% 4 15% Who claim that they did not receive enough advice about the suitability of their investments 2 52% 13% Extremely concerned Somewhat concerned Very concerned Not concerned Are communication and education programs effective? Despite long-standing, significant industry efforts around employee communication, plan sponsors do not see a winning formula. Seven out of 10 plan sponsors view participant communication and education programs as extremely or very important, and they rely heavily on support from their plan providers. At the same time, only two in five think programs are effective, and 58 percent of plan sponsor agree that participants won t take advantage of support that s offered to them. In general, how important is participant education to your company? (n=310) Not important 1% Somewhat important 2 Extremely important 20% Very important 52% 5

6 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY How big a role does each of the following play in educating participants? (n=310) Materials the plan provider prepares % The plan provider s website 5 93% Enrollment meetings 65% 2 92% Materials prepared by an advisor or broker 54% 36% 90% Meetings other than enrollment 49% 84% Materials you prepare 53% 83% Webinars 14% 44% 5 Major role Minor role How often does your company offer retirement planning seminars/webinars? (n=310) In general, how effective do you think your participant education program is? (n=310) Very often 4% 5% Extremely effective Fairly often Seldom Never 43% 45% 42% 23% Very effective Somewhat effective 29% 5 For employees who participate in your DC plan(s) Specifically targeted to employees who do not participate in your DC plan(s) Not effective 5% 6

7 To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement? It doesn t matter if employers offer support; most employees don t take advantage of it. (n=310) Strongly disagree 12% Strongly agree Somewhat disagree Somewhat agree 42% Employers believe that providing a matching contribution is the most important action that they can take to encourage employees to save. How important do you believe each of the following actions are for an employer to take in encouraging employees to save for retirement? (n=310) A matching contribution 51% 24% 19% 6% Access to a financial advisor 40% 24% 5% Enrollment meetings 2 42% 22% Financial calculators 23% 3 Automatic enrollment 20% 33% Extremely important Somewhat important Very important Not important 7

8 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Sponsors and participants differ on intervention There is a difference between what plan sponsors and participants believe regarding the appropriate level of intervention around plan behavior. While sponsors still look for participants to become educated about saving and investing, participants are amenable to automatic programs and defaults, recognizing their own tendencies. Employers underestimate how much of a push employees want. Employers assume that 30 percent of their employees prefer to be left alone, when in fact only about 16 percent of their employees actually feel this way. When it comes to encouraging employees to save more for retirement, what percent of employees in your company do you think prefer each of the following? Median responses reported A kick in the pants A strong nudge A slight nudge 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 25% 41% 44% Leave you alone 1 Plan Sponsor (n=310) aged 55 to 65* (n=1,007) aged 25 to 54* (n=612) * % of employees saying that each item best describes what they want their employer to do for them when it comes to saving 8

9 Do you currently offer automatic enrollment to your employees? (n=310) Reasons why automatic enrollment is not offered (n=153) Fear of employee backlash 39% No 5 Yes 43% Just have not considered it yet Burden with additional administration It should be employee s choice 10% Cost of increase match 6% Other 6% More than 60 percent of employees support employers implementing automatic enrollment as a way to encourage saving. Suppose the company you worked for has an automatic enrollment option where 6% got taken out of employees paychecks automatically for their retirement plans. Is this something the company: 3 63% 62% aged 55 to 65 (n=1,007) Should do Should not do aged 25 to 54 (n=612) 9

10 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Plan sponsors view model portfolios and seminars as slightly more important than employees do. Employees place more importance on automatic enrollment and increases than employers. How important do you think each of the following employer actions are in encouraging employees to save more for retirement? Providing model portfolios that show how employees with different risk appetites and age might invest their money aged 55 to 65 aged 25 to 54 Plan Sponsor 25% 22% 2 41% 44% 45% 2 25% 4% 6% 3% aged 55 to 65 25% 42% 3% Providing educational seminars and materials aged 25 to 54 23% 39% Plan Sponsor 24% 46% 2 3% aged 55 to 65 Having automatic enrollment aged 25 to 54 23% 34% 12% Plan Sponsor 25% 2 aged 55 to 65 21% 33% 36% 11% Having automatic increases each year in amount invested aged 25 to % 15% Plan Sponsor 13% 2 24% Having automatic investment portfolio that employees will be placed in unless they specify otherwise aged 55 to 65 aged 25 to 54 21% 19% 40% 11% Plan Sponsor 1 34% 34% 15% Extremely important Somewhat important Very important Not important 10

11 Advisors are viewed as key partners, especially for investment selection and monitoring Retirement plan advisors are mainly sought for investment selection and monitoring responsibilities, but there is opportunity for greater plan involvement. Three in four employers use an advisor, and three in ten of those who do not are likely to use one in the future. Nearly all are satisfied with their current advisor, and more than half have been with their advisor for at least five years. Do you currently have a professional financial advisor that advises you on your plan? (n=310) How likely is it that you will get a professional financial advisor in the future? (n=77) No 24% Very likely Somewhat likely 23% Yes 76% Not too likely 61% Not at all likely Overall, how satisfied are you with your current advisor? (n=233) Among those with an advisor How long have you been working with your current advisor? (n=233) Among those with an advisor Not too satisfied 2% Less than 1 year 5% Somewhat satisfied 36% Very satisfied 62% 1 to 2 years 3 to 4 years 5 to 9 years 11% 10 years or more 23% 11

12 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Advisors are heavily used; close to nine in ten use them for investment selection, and at least seven in ten utilize their advisor for employee education, meeting fiduciary obligations, compliance issues, employee communication and plan administration. At least half of those with advisors who do not currently use them for these services report they are likely to do so in the future for investment selection, employee communication, and education. Investment selection stands out as the main reason for using an advisor, though large majorities use them for a variety of purposes. Are you using the advisor for any of the following? (n=233) % Yes among those who have a financial advisor Investment selection 8 Employee education 83% To meet fiduciary obligations 80% Compliance issues 7 Communicating to employees 76% Plan administration 70% 12

13 Plan sponsors are most likely to use advisors in the future for investment selection, employee communication, and education. How likely are you to use the advisor for any of the following in the future? Among those who are not using any of the following Investment selection (n=30) 50% 11% Communicating to employees (n=56) 9% 45% 2 19% Employee education (n=46) 12% 41% 25% 22% Compliance issues (n=43) 14% 34% 22% Meeting fiduciary oblligations (n=47) 9% 33% 3 21% Plan administration (n=65) 5% 36% 2 Very likely Not too likely Somewhat likely Not at all likely Investment selection and monitoring is by far the most important duty of advisors. What is the most important duty your advisor performs? (n=233) Among those with a financial advisor 52% 1 12% 9% 6% 2% 1% Investment selection and monitoring Fiduciary responsibilities Employee education Plan design consulting Recordkeeper search and selection Fee benchmarking Other 13

14 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Employers are most apt to value expertise, reliability, integrity, and accessibility in their advisors. At least three in five view these traits as extremely important. How important are each of the following qualities in an advisor? (n=233) Among those with a financial advisor Expertise 73% 26% Reliability in following up 63% Integrity 7 20% Accessibility 60% 3 Reasonable fees 54% 40% 6% Ability to work with employees 52% 39% 6% Likeability 36% 49% 14% Extremely important Somewhat important Very important Not important 14

15 Summary Plan sponsors recognize the important role they play in helping their participants prepare for retirement, and they place a priority on communication and education programs. However, they are generally dissatisfied with the results of these efforts and are somewhat reluctant to fully implement automatic programs. Although most frequently used for investment lineup consulting, retirement plan advisors can expand their client relationships by offering expertise around typical participant behavior and the effective use of defaults. Given the value plan sponsors place on their advisors, advisors have an opportunity to work with their clients to proactively and progressively improve participants retirement readiness, a critical goal shared by most plan sponsors. 15

16 Actively Investing in Your Success SM Performance is what our clients expect, and we believe the ultimate measure of our performance is the quality of the relationship with our clients. Our culture is firmly rooted in the principles of discipline, integrity and teamwork. We relentlessly focus on delivering superior investment performance and building long-term client relationships. Four foundational characteristics help us deliver on our commitment: Performance focus for 55 years Pure play business model Privately controlled and independent Profits with a purpose Survey Methodology The survey was conducted between February 8 and March 3, Respondents were screened to include only those who currently work for a private or publically-held company or organization that was founded prior to 2010 and offers a defined contribution plan with plan assets of less than $100 million for which the respondent has considerable influence. A total of 310 sponsors participated including 104 whose company has plan assets under $25 million, 78 between $25 million and $50 million, 75 between $50 million and $75 million, and 53 between $75 million and $100 million. The data were balanced to reflect the makeup of the total defined contribution population by plan asset size. Data collection and analysis were completed by Mathew Greenwald and Associates, Inc., of Washington, D.C. This material has been prepared for educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, investment, accounting, legal or tax advice. American Century Investment Services, Inc American Century Proprietary Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved. IN-BRO P.O. Box Kansas City, MO americancentury.com

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