Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s 2017 Plan Wellness Scorecard, an annual report on trends in financial wellness and retirement planning based on the behavior of plan participants and sponsors in the financial firm’s 401(k) business, shows that US employees’ engagement with their employer-sponsored retirement plans increased last year. Among the report’s key findings is a significant growth in the use of Roth 401(k)s, Patty Kujawa observes at Workforce, with nearly a third of employees who have access to a Roth 401(k) increasing their contributions last year—half of them millennials:
Sylvie Feist, BofA Merrill Lynch’s director of financial wellness strategy, said employers are adopting a broader perspective helping their workers gain confidence in making money decisions. They are simplifying plans by using express enrollment, automatic features and by offering more ways to save. According to the survey, 57 percent of employers who offer a traditional 401(k) also offer the Roth option. In addition, the Roth option recently became a one-click and done selection in BofA Merrill Lynch’s Advice Access online advisory service tool.
The Plan Wellness Scorecard also found that more employers are offering health savings accounts and more employees are using them: The number of employees using HSAs increased 21 percent, and HSA balances grew by an average of 36 percent.