Nudging Retirement Savings with Default Auto-Enrollment Rates

ICMA-RC released the results of a new survey on state and local employee attitudes toward auto-enrollment in supplemental retirement plans. Most notably, the survey found that 77 percent would choose to stay in such a plan if auto-enrolled. The survey also assessed the likelihood that they would keep a default deferral rate as is, increase their deferrals, or decrease them.

“The findings are critically important given that the responsibility of saving for retirement in the public sector is shifting from the employer to the employee in many jurisdictions,” said Rivka Liss-Levinson, Ph.D., SLGE Director of Research and report author.

“The fact that those presented with a seven percent default settled on a significantly higher rate than the group given the one percent default rate is important. This suggests that employers, retirement plan providers and policymakers should consider how small nudges – such as changing the default rate for auto-enrollment in an SRP –can combat inertia and impact an employees’ ability to save for retirement,” she explained.

n=307 (Split 1, n=68; Split 2, n=81; Split 3, n=77; Split 4, n=81)



Public Sector Workforce 2030 Summit: Mark Your Calendars!

On September 27 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, SLGE, the National League of Cities and ICMA-RC will host a summit on ‘Public Sector Workforce 2030: Planning for the Next Generation of State and Local Government Employees.’ Panel and attendee discussions will focus on rethinking retirement, workforce trends, and health and wellness benefits. The event will be geared toward a diverse mix of elected officials, government agency managers, retirement administrators, HR professionals, labor representatives, and members of the research community.

For those arriving from out of town, there will be a pre-summit reception and networking opportunity with our speakers on the evening of September 26. Hotel information will be announced shortly. This event is complimentary.


SLGE in the News

SLGE’s recent financial literacy research was featured in the newsletter of the National Association of County Administrators’ February 2019 Journal of County Administration. Auto-enrollment research was cited by Plan Sponsor, Chief Investment Officer, Think Advisor, Employee Benefit Advisor, InsuranceNewsNet, and 401K Specialist, while workforce survey data was appeared in an article in American City & County.

President/CEO Josh Franzel shared the Center’s perspectives via panel presentations with the National Institute on Retirement Security, regarding Retirement Security in America: How Can We Do Better?, and the Smart Growth Information Clearinghouse, regarding cross-sector partnerships in community health, planning, transportation, and economic growth.

ICMA-RC and SLGE hosted a March 20th media briefing in NYC to discuss new research on attitudes toward retirement savings in the public sector and perspectives on broader public pension trends. Speakers included experts from ICMA-RC, SLGE, and the Maine Public Employees Retirement System.

In addition to Center research, Senior Research Associate Gerald Young also completed a new e-book for ICMA on local government performance management.

Among SLGE board members, Scott Pattison published a recent commentary in Governing regarding support for the arts in rural communities.


Employment Data

The International Professional Management Association for Human Resources – which partners with SLGE and the National Association of State Personnel Executives on our annual workforce survey – has just released a new infographic on 2019 employment.

Nudging deferral rates with auto-enrollment in state and local supplemental retirement plans.