US - Controlling the growth and volatility of company pension plans is one of the most pressing retirement challenges for financial executives, a new survey by Hewitt Associates has found.
According to Hewitt, 65% of the 200 financial executives surveyed said identifying ways to control the growth in retirement costs of their companies’ pension plans was their top priority for the next two years.
A further 49% said they would focus on reducing pension cost volatility and 59% said they plan to step up efforts to educate their employees about the need to save for retirement.
Commenting on the findings, Ari Jacobs, global retirement consultant at Hewitt, said: “In addition to growing cost pressures and complying with stricter governance and accounting standards, a shifting demographic workforce and legislative uncertainties are making retirement programmes even more difficult to manage.
“Many financial executives are struggling to find effective ways to address these challenges and still provide competitive retirement programmes that meet the needs of their business, as well as their employees.”
In other findings, only 30% of financial executives said they are confident their workers will retire with sufficient retirement assets, yet more than 70% believe that employees’ ability to retire is connected to their organisation’s ability to manage its workforce effectively.
Some 30% said they would take initiatives to better manage their retirement plans globally.
“We see an increasing number of financial executives concerned about the impact of current and future retirement trends to their overall business, especially in the areas of managing costs and volatility,” Jacobs said.
“While it’s difficult to predict the different variables and outside factors that may influence retirement programmes in the future, financial executives can take pre-emptive steps that will enable them to gain more control and act quickly as the retirement landscape continues to change.”
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