Exactly 50% of participants in 401(k) plans would like to have the option of rolling their money into a guaranteed income solution, but that does not exist in their plan, MetLife found in a recent survey, its seventh annual Employee Benefits Trends Study. Only 21% of employers said they would consider offering guaranteed income solutions, and only 16% of employers currently offer income annuities in their 401(k) plan.

In addition, 51% of participants in 401(k) plans would like to receive concrete retirement savings advice, but only 37% of employers believe they have a responsibility to provide such advice.

In addition, in August 2008, 28% of employees said they were on track for a sound retirement, but by November, that fell to only 21%.

“The two groups are out of synch on some key retirement issues, ranging from advice to income,” MetLife said. “Employers may be missing a valuable opportunity to address employee loyalty and retention by designing benefit plans that help their employees meet their retirement goals.”

Bill Mullaney, president of the institutional business at MetLife, noted, “As the workplace becomes more and more dependent on defined contribution plans, many employees are looking to their employers for help in developing retirement income strategies. However, most employers are just now starting to recognize the potential importance of their role.”

Robin Lenna, senior vice president in the corporate benefit funding group at MetLife, added, “Clearly, with the significant drop in value of many retirement portfolios, we are hearing a rallying cry from employees for help in rebuilding their retirement savings.”

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