401(k) Participants Clamor for Help as Stocks Continue Dropping Employee Benefit News (12/01) Vol. 15, No. 15 p.39; Gunsauley, Craig
Although the volatile stock market, increased risk, and decreasing investment returns warrant more 401(k) participant education from employers, fear of legal liability is stopping some employers from offering such financial advice. Forty-seven percent of 504 HR managers surveyed feel unprepared and uncomfortable giving customized financial advice to employees, according to CIGNA's Workplace Report on Retirement Planning, which also discovered almost 50 percent of 1,000 surveyed 401(k) participants are looking to change their investments starting in 2002. Eighty-five percent of HR managers participating in CIGNA's survey believe consumers should access retirement investment information via the Internet, but only 38 percent provide such online information. Retirement plans were cited as the most important employee benefit by 31 percent of respondents, while only 9 percent of HR executives cited retirement plans as effective for employee retention, according to the CIGNA survey.