Investment Concerns of Plan Participants


It might seem to make sense that people who work hard to fund a retirement account would be risk-averse.

Such is proven in the Spectrem Defined Contribution Market Insights report Financial Attitudes and Concerns of Retirement Plan Participants.

The report asks DC plan participants many questions regarding their thoughts regarding investing and financial advisors, among them being the factors important to them in selecting investments. Tops among them is “the level of risk associated with investments”, which 86 percent of plan participants consider to be a significant factor.

That was most true among plan participants with the highest balances. Among those with a balance of over $100,000, 94 percent said risk was a significant factor in their investments.

Eighty-four percent of defined contribution plan participants said the diversity of investments mattered to them. That was especially true of men and investors 65 years of age and older.

The next most popular investment factor was the reputation of companies investing in, which was selected by 78 percent of participants.  However, the youngest plan participants, those under the age of 36, were less concerned with that (only 67 percent selected that choice).

Of almost equal concern, selected by approximately 75 percent of participants, was the tax implications of investments, and the past track record of the companies being invested in? The tax implications were of greatest concern to the older group, over 50, which perhaps are concerned about how taxes will affect their retirement accounts.

The only factor offered as a choice that did not receive at least 50 percent of the participants’ approval was the social responsibly of investments. Only 47 percent of plan participants considered that a factor in their investment decisions.

Interestingly, the less funds a plan participant had in their retirement accounts, the more they were interested in the social responsibility of their investments. Sixty-one percent of those with less than $10,000 in their retirement accounts were interested in whether their investments were going to socially responsible firms.


To learn more about DC Participants click here or contact Randy Wostratzky at or 224-544-5195