How Can Employers Encourage Young Workers to Save for Retirement?

Nicole Votolato MontgomeryLisa R. Szykman Julie Agnew

IB#12-7

The brief’s key findings are:

  • One reason young workers don’t save for retirement is that the event is so far off.
  • An experiment to boost their saving tested different ads:
    • abstract or concrete wording (“why you should save more now” vs. “how you can save more now”); and
    • a short- or long-term savings goal (“how much to save from each paycheck” vs. “how much to save over your lifetime”).
  • The most effective ads paired abstract wording with a long-term goal and concrete wording with a short-term goal.
  • Therefore, communications designed to spur saving by young workers should match the framing of the message to the time horizon of the savings milestone.