2013 was a good year for most 401(k) participants.  Participants saw significant returns on stock investments and more employers reinstated or increased their match contributions.  According to the Investment Company Institute, tax-deferred accounts now make up 54% of the U.S. retirement market and the majority of that is within employer-sponsored 401(k) plans.  With more Americans now dependent on their employer sponsored plans to carry them in retirement, the focus has turned to fine-tuning employer plans to create the greatest advantage for participants.

Some of the latest trends and tools to consider for 2014

  • Some investment companies offer participant statements that compare their savings to other employees based on age, salary or gender
  • Employers are focusing on educating participants to increase participation, participant deferral percentages and participant returns
  • Employer sponsored plans are increasingly offering self-brokerage accounts as an investment option within their 401(k) plans

Does your Plan already offer some of these tools to Plan participants or are they considering offering them?