How COVID-19 is affecting smaller employers’ retirement plans

How COVID-19 is affecting smaller employers’ retirement plans

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Employers are adapting plans and communications strategies in response to the pandemic

Like many other aspects of our lives, employees’ confidence in their retirement plans has undergone rapid change due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To understand how employers’ priorities have shifted, we surveyed users of the Empower Retirement platform in mid-April about any adjustments they might be making to their plans or to their communications with employees.

The survey’s findings suggest that small employers are reluctant to adjust their retirement plans in response to the pandemic. They are seeking additional support from advisors in key areas, such as understanding regulatory changes related to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and supporting their efforts to communicate with their employees.

Key findings:

  • Top areas of focus for small employers include health and safety, effective communication, and navigating the many changes wrought by the pandemic.
  • Relatively few small employers intend to decrease or suspend matching contributions in response to the pandemic.
  • Nearly one in five small employers has ruled out offering loans or disbursements related to the CARES Act.
Research Paper

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