Data and Research

ICI Research Highlights Broad Support for DC Plans

Among retirement account-owning households expressing an opinion, nearly all have favorable opinions of 401(k) and similar retirement accounts.

By John Manganaro | February 24, 2017
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Nearly all U.S. households with defined contribution (DC) retirement plan accounts agree that “it is important to have choice in, and control of, the investments in their retirement accounts,” according to a new survey released by the Investment Company Institute (ICI).

A study breaking down the survey findings, “American Views on Defined Contribution Plan Saving,” reports that U.S. households “strongly favor preserving retirement account features and flexibility.” For example, the vast majority (89%) of all households disagree with the statement that the “government should take away the tax advantages of DC accounts,” and 90% “disagree with the idea of reducing the amount that individuals can contribute to DC accounts.

“Even among households that do not own DC accounts or individual retirement accounts (IRAs), 82% reject the idea of taking away the tax treatment of DC accounts,” says ICI President and CEO Paul Schott Stevens. “Our research shows, time and again, that Americans strongly support keeping tax incentives for retirement saving because those incentives are critical in promoting plan participation and contributions.”

According to ICI data, Americans “also resist suggestions to change individual investment control in DC accounts.” Nine out of 10 agree that retirees “should be able to make their own decisions about how to manage retirement assets and income.” Nearly the same number “disagree with investing all retirement accounts in an investment option selected by a government-appointed board of experts.”

“Nearly eight out of 10 households disagree that retirees should be required to trade a portion of their retirement accounts for a fair contract promising them income for life,” the study points out.

NEXT: Once committed, savers stick to it