Retirement Plans Become More Prevalent for Utilities Employees

April 10, 2012    

The recent volatility in the stock markets has once again shifted employees’ focus to retirement savings plans. While saving for the future is important, employees are questioning which options are the most beneficial. The 2011 Compensation Data Utilities survey results indicate that more than 82.4 percent of employees were enrolled in a defined contribution plan, compared to 2010 where that number was 80.5. More than 5 percent of utilities employers surveyed reported offering a defined benefit plan only, 25.7 percent offer a defined contribution plan only and more than 68 percent offer both.

“Fifty-four percent of employers expected between 25 and 75 percent of their staff to contribute to a retirement plan in 2011 according to an informal poll conducted on the our website,” said Amy Kaminski, director of marketing for Compdata Surveys, the nation’s leading pay and benefit survey data provider. “Another 18.6 percent anticipated more than 75 percent of their staff will utilize retirement plans last year.”

The most common plans for utilities organizations according to the 2011 survey were 401(k) with employer contribution and 401(k) employee savings only. Nearly 82 percent of organizations offer a 401(k) plan with employer contribution while 15.2 percent offer 401(k) plans with employee savings only. More than 6 percent of companies offered profit sharing plans in 2011, down from 7 percent last year.

The way organizations contribute to employee retirement plans varies with 69.3 percent of organizations utilizing a standard match formula in 2011. Utilities employers are slowly moving toward tiered matched formulas. Just 9 percent of organizations reported using a tiered match formula in 2009, compared to 11.4 percent last year.

All 401(k), 403(b) and 457(b) and (f) plans were reported as fully vested within six years with 31.6 percent vested immediately. For other plans, 7.5 percent of plans were vested immediately while 47.5 percent were vested after five full years of employment.

About the Survey
Compensation Data 2011 Utilities contains data on more than 460 titles ranging from entry-level to top executives. The results feature data from nearly 130 utility organizations reporting on more than 1,450 locations across the country. The results provide a comprehensive summary of pay data, benefit information and pay practices with an effective date of February 1, 2011.

Compdata Surveys is the nation’s leading compensation and benefits survey data provider. Thousands of U.S. organizations provide data each year ensuring the reliability of our results. Compdata Surveys has been providing comprehensive data at affordable prices to organizations from coast to coast since 1988. For further information about the compensation and benefits surveys, contact Michelle Willis at (800) 300-9570.

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