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Employers are Taking Action to Help Workers Close the Retirement Savings Gap
Aon survey shows more employers are making changes to their 401(k) plans to boost participation and encourage savings


LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill., Oct. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- With only one-in-five workers on track to retire at age 65, a new survey from Aon Hewitt, the global talent, retirement and health solutions business of Aon plc (NYSE:AON), reveals U.S. employers are taking steps to help workers save more and improve their long-term financial outlook.

Aon Hewitt's survey of more than 360 employers, representing over 10 million employees, shows 401(k) plans are shifting in three key areas:

Company Match: To encourage workers to save more, employers are putting more "skin in the game."

  • 42 percent of companies match dollar-for-dollar, up from 31 percent in 2013.
  • Before 2013, $0.50 per $1.00 was the most common formula.

Automatic Enrollment: Employers are defaulting employee contributions at a higher rate. Of the employers that automatically enroll their workers:

  • 52 percent automatically enroll workers at a savings rate of 4 percent or more, up from 39 percent of employers in 2013.
  • 51 percent default workers at or above the company match threshold, nearly 10 percentage points higher than in 2013.

Back-sweeping: Most employers only automatically enroll new hires, but many are taking action to ensure more workers participate in the plan. Currently, 16 percent of employers automatically enroll all eligible employees (also called "back-sweeping") on an ongoing (annual) or one-time basis—double the percentage that did so in 2013.    

"With more workers falling short of their retirement savings needs, employers are being more aggressive about making plan design changes that will help workers close the savings gap," explained Rob Austin, director of Retirement Research at Aon Hewitt. "While these tweaks to the plan may seem small, they can have a profound impact on workers' ultimate retirement wealth."

To see how workers benefit from these 401(k) plan changes, view Aon Hewitt's models here

About Aon
Aon plc (NYSE:AON) is a leading global provider of risk management, insurance brokerage and reinsurance brokerage, and human resources solutions and outsourcing services. Through its more than 69,000 colleagues worldwide, Aon unites to empower results for clients in over 120 countries via innovative risk and people solutions. For further information on our capabilities and to learn how we empower results for clients, please visit:

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Media Contact:
MacKenzie Lucas, 847.442.2995,

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