Americans left in the dark over how to manage pensions

May 25 2006 by Nic Paton Print This Article

Nearly a third of American workers feel they are not being given enough education and guidance by their employers on how to manage their retirement finances.

A study by financial brokerage firm Edward Jones has found that just a quarter of American workers find their employer "extremely helpful" when it comes to providing them with information at work that will help in retirement planning.

The poll of 1,000 American workers attempted to better understand the financial educational landscape as more employees are forced to manage and care for their retirement funds.

"These results clearly suggest that employers must do more to arm their employees with the education necessary to manage their financial futures," said Ken King, partner in charge of the Edward Jones employee education department.

"It doesn't matter if the company plan is defined benefit or defined contribution, employees need to take a more active role in managing retirement funds. Without the proper education, many Americans could wind up squandering vital resources they will need in retirement," he added.

"This is a crucial issue for the future financial well-being of our country," King warned.

Almost half of those polled who had an annual household income of fewer than $25,000 agreed that their employers were not helpful in retirement planning.

Those who worked part time were 21 per cent more likely to agree that their employers fell into the "unhelpful" category.

Nearly two-thirds of those with college degrees agreed their employers were at least "somewhat helpful" in helping them plan for retirement Ė suggesting that there is an education two-tier in the U.S when it comes to this issue, added Edward Jones.