ING Encourages Americans to View their Big Picture in Support of America Saves Week 2012
As an advocate for helping Americans achieve greater retirement savings, ING U.S. is promoting an awareness program for its more than 52,000 workplace retirement plan sponsors and 5.4 million customers to coincide with America Saves Week 2012, which takes place February 19-26. The theme, “Big Picture,” encourages individuals to picture where they would like to be in retirement so they will be motivated to set a goal, create a plan and save for the long-term.
ING’s effort reminds individuals to develop a comprehensive strategy, which includes leveraging the automatic savings power of a tax-deferred retirement plan. The initiative reinforces the focus of this year’s America Saves Week which is: Set a Goal; Develop a Plan; Save Automatically.
“These days we are all challenged with competing financial priorities, but one thing that should not get overlooked is planning and saving for retirement,” said Maliz Beams, CEO of ING U.S. Retirement. “ING is committed to helping Americans reach their retirement savings goals by offering tools, information and resources that can simplify the process and help them see their entire financial picture. By setting goals and identifying ways to save easily and automatically, individuals will be in a better position to retire with the financial security they expect and deserve.”
ING’s program provides a broad selection of print and electronic materials that employers and financial professionals can use to help educate investors. The initiative also points investors to resources such as ING’s financial comparison tool, www.INGCompareMe.com, which lets individuals see how they compare to others like them when it comes to saving, spending and investing.
Additionally, a recent study1 conducted by ING’s Retirement Research Institute offers insight into some of the aspirations and key barriers many Americans have when it comes to saving. For example, the study found that exactly half (50%) of respondents did not pay their credit cards off in full every month and more than one-quarter (26%) always kept a running credit card balance. In spite of this, many Americans are taking steps to reach a more successful financial future — well over half (57%) of respondents stated that saving for retirement is their most important long-term financial goal and nearly three-quarters (72%) confirmed they were receiving the full employer match in their workplace retirement plan.
To support greater savings and retirement preparedness, ING encourages individuals to follow the recommendations promoted by America Saves Week with these simple, yet important steps:
Step 1: Set a goal. ING recognizes that Americans today are not saving adequately — especially for retirement. ING’s study found that while three-quarters (75%) of respondents are contributing to their workplace retirement plan, nearly half (48%) do not feel prepared for retirement. Setting a goal is an important first step toward feeling more prepared. When investors have a goal in mind, such as visualizing where they'd like to be in retirement, this can give their savings a purpose.
Step 2: Develop a plan. Once a goal is established, make a plan to reach it. ING believes obtaining financial advice from a trusted professional, whether by phone or in person, as well as getting support from online tools, can be very helpful. ING’s study found that face-to-face communication with a financial professional ranked the highest in terms of value for receiving information about a retirement plan. Yet, fewer than three-in-ten (28%) of respondents said they were working with a professional. Meanwhile, more than seven-in-ten (71%) admitted they did not have a formal investment plan to help them reach their retirement goals.
There are many places individuals can go to start the planning process. ING offers an online resource, www.RetireWithING.com, where the public can go to get important retirement saving information and connect to a professional, if they choose.
Step 3: Save automatically. Participating in a workplace retirement plan is one of the first and best places to start saving. These plans offer a number of benefits, including having investments automatically contributed from a paycheck along with tax-deferred growth. There are also other valuable retirement savings vehicles outside of employer-sponsored plans, such as individual retirement plans (IRAs), that can help people save automatically.
“ING is proud to support America Saves Week and we encourage working Americans to use this time as an opportunity to assess their own savings progress and make positive changes,” added Beams. “More importantly, we believe this is an ongoing process that should continue throughout the entire year.”
1. Findings are from an online survey conducted by ORC International during the period of Oct. 5-13, 2011. Respondents were 4,050 adults between the ages of 25 and 69 who are employed full-time with an annual household income of $40,000 or greater. Data was weighted to make the results representative of the U.S. population.
ING U.S. constitutes the U.S.-based retirement, insurance and investment management operations of Dutch-based ING Groep N.V. 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 retirement plans, life insurance, mutual funds, managed accounts, alternative investments, institutional investment management, annuities, employee benefits and financial planning. ING holds top-tier rankings in key U.S. markets and serves approximately 15 million customers across the nation. For more information, visit http://ing.us.