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Small business owners see most Americans as financially unprepared for retirement: Survey

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Small business owners see most Americans as financially unprepared for retirement: Survey

Small business owners see most Americans as financially unprepared for retirement, but for the most part they aren't prepared to offer employees a 401(k) or other employee self-funded retirement plan, according to a new survey by Nationwide Financial of Columbus, Ohio.

In a survey of 501 small business owners nationwide, 75% agreed with the sentiment that “so many Americans are financially unprepared for retirement that it has reached crisis levels.” However, only 19% of them offer retirement plan options to employees.

“So few provide their employees access to an employer-sponsored 401(k) plan because small businesses need to reach a point of business maturity or critical mass to absorb the cost and administration of the current 401(k) retirement plan,” Nationwide said in a statement.

Things aren't likely to change, either.

Only 11% of respondents said they're likely to add an employee-sponsored 401(k) plan within the next two years. Nearly 70% of respondents said their business is too small to do so, and about 50% said the administrative costs associated with such plans are too expensive.

Even so, 37% of small business owners with more than six employees said they are under pressure from employees to offer a retirement plan. About four in five (78%) of the business owners surveyed who have a retirement plan said the plan is effective in helping to attract qualified employees.

Scott Suttell is a reporter for Crain's Cleveland Business, a sister publication of Business Insurance.