ING Survey: Workplace Retirement Plan Investors More Informed and Active about Managing Savings

April 16, 2010 Windsor, Conn. Share: Print Subscribe to Email Alerts

During the worst days of the economic downturn there was talk of the failings of the U.S. employer-based retirement plan system. As an advocate of research and to better understand consumers and its customers, ING conducted a recent survey to hear from average Americans exactly what they thought about the issue.

According to the findings, a majority of Americans believe the current private retirement savings system is not at all broken. In fact, the survey showed that those in a workplace plan were more confident, informed and proactive when it came to their savings.

More than eight out of ten respondents (84%) who had a workplace plan said they take an active role in managing their retirement savings and investments, compared to only about half (53%) without any type of retirement savings vehicle.

"Workplace plans remain a cornerstone of our nation's retirement system and many Americans continue to invest and believe in them," said Catherine Smith, CEO of ING U.S. Retirement Services. "Still, we know there are ways the system could be even better. More Americans need access to these plans, and those who are already enrolled should be encouraged to save even more."

The ING survey was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs from March 18-22, 2010 and polled 1,000 men and women across the country to better understand their attitudes about the private retirement savings system - and specifically defined contribution plans.1

One place Americans are looking for more help is from their employer. According to the survey, a majority showed overwhelming support for a number of ways employers could be more proactive in facilitating and stimulating employee savings. These included:

  • Offering a diversity of investment options within their plans (88%).
  • Making employees aware of what their current accumulated savings account balance would be if converted into a monthly income stream upon retirement (84%).
  • Providing more education and tools to help employees better understand how to save (83%).
  • Offering a workplace retirement plan, regardless of the employer's size (76%).
  • Incorporating plan strategies to make saving easier and more automatic for employees (75%).

Regardless of the evolving policy debate on the issue of retirement, nearly three-quarters of those polled (74%) agreed - and almost half (49%) strongly so - that saving for retirement was an individual's responsibility and not the government's job.

"A workplace retirement plan is one of the first and best places to start taking control of one's retirement savings," added Smith. "In addition to a 401(k) plan, investors may need to supplement their retirement funds with other personal savings strategies. Most important is that people gain greater financial knowledge through seminars, literacy campaigns, easy-to-use tools, and by working with a trusted professional to create a comprehensive financial plan."

ING's U.S. Retirement Services is part of ING's global insurance operations. The business holds top rankings in the defined contribution industry and has more than $275 billion in combined assets under administration and management. It is one of the few providers with the ability to offer retirement solutions for any size or segment of the market.

As an industry leader, ING is committed to gaining greater insights into the various factors - including emotional and psychological - that affect how people save for retirement. Through research, studies, tools and work done by its ING Institute for Retirement Research, ING aims to be a resource for plan distributors and employers seeking new ways to understand participant behavior so they can help investors achieve positive retirement outcomes.

1. The ING Survey, Beyond the Politics and Pundits: What Americans Think about the Private Retirement System, was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs from March 18-22, 2010 and polled a randomly-selected sample of 1,000 adult men and women nationwide by telephone. The margin of error for a sample of this size is +/-3.1 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. Data was weighted to ensure that the sample's regional and age/gender composition reflected the actual American population according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

Press inquiries

Joe Loparco, ING Americas, 580-580-2677 or

About ING

ING is a global financial institution of Dutch origin offering banking, investments, life insurance and retirement services to over 85 million private, corporate and institutional clients in over 40 countries. With a diverse workforce of more than 110,000 people, ING is dedicated to setting the standard in helping our clients manage their financial future.

In the U.S., the ING (NYSE: ING) family of companies offers a comprehensive array of financial services to retail and institutional clients, which includes life insurance, retirement plans, mutual funds, managed accounts, alternative investments, direct banking, institutional investment management, annuities, employee benefits and financial planning. ING holds top-tier rankings in key U.S. markets and serves approximately 30 million customers across the nation. For more information, visit