The survey also indicated that a large majority of plan sponsors agreed that their employees face major challenges when it comes to their ability to save for retirement, including caregiving responsibilities (87% of respondents) , student loan debt (85%) and the impact of inflation. (84%). As a result, some institutions are tackling these issues by offering wellness programs such as student loan repayment assistance (49%) and planning for caregivers and employees with special needs and disabilities ( 42%).
Additionally, 83% of respondents think the idea of matching student loan payments with a pension plan contribution is “more important today than it was before the pandemic.”
When asked which issues had gained most prominence since the start of the pandemic, 85% of respondents said the adoption of “strong and socially responsible business practices and policies across all ESG areas”; 82% mentioned providing student loan assistance; and 81% mentioned developing and expanding a diversity, equity and inclusion hiring strategy and/or programs to attract talent.
“While benefits can play a central role for many organizations in helping to attract and retain talent today, those in the higher education sector face even more complex needs, so it’s encouraging to see the CD plan seen as a basic tool that organizations are using to help meet the challenge,” Wood said in the statement.
In addition, pension advisors are also playing an increasingly crucial role in higher education institutions, according to the survey. Some 67% of higher education institutions report relying on the services of a planning advisor or consultant. Almost all of the others said they plan to hire an advisor within the next year.
“Pension plan advisors can play a vital role with employers in establishing a plan that can both meet their needs and guide their employee to a financially secure retirement,” added Mr. Wood.
Voya is the custodian and service provider of over 1,500 higher education pension plans.
The survey was conducted for Voya by Greenwald Research, a market research firm, and initially consisted of an online survey between June 29 and July 19 of 301 retirement plan decision makers from institutions. education offering a DC pension plan. The second phase consisted of “in-depth interviews with a select group of decision-makers” in August.
Voya had $644 billion in assets under management and administration as of June 30.