Responsible investing options resonate with retirement plan
participants, as nearly nine in 10 say they want their investments to align
with their values, according to a survey by Calvert Investments. However, there
is a need to further educate participants given that only 37% say they are
familiar with the term "responsible investing." After being read a
definition of responsible investing, seven in 10 (72%) indicate a likelihood to
invest in a responsible investing product in the next 12 months and, among
these participants, 47% prefer to invest with a firm that specializes in
The vast majority of participants (89%) find the concept of
responsible investing appealing, with four in 10 saying it is highly appealing.
Ninety percent of eligible non-participants also find the concept appealing.
More than half of eligible non-participants (56%) indicated they are more
likely to participate in their retirement plan if it offers a responsible
Eight-two percent of respondents indicated they are likely
to select a responsible investment option if offered by the plan, with nearly
one-third of those interested claiming they would direct all their plan
contributions to responsible investments. Millennials were the most motivated,
with 46% of that segment indicating they would direct all of their plan
contributions to responsible options.
Two-thirds of participants assume responsible investing
funds will be as good as or better than other mutual funds in terms of risk,
volatility and performance.
The survey found satisfaction with and likelihood to
recommend one’s employer is higher among plan participants who are pleased with
their retirement plan, and that retirement plan satisfaction is higher when participants
believe responsible investment options are offered. The study also found that
perceiving an employer as trustworthy and a good corporate citizen is just as
or more important to company loyalty as perceiving the firm as providing
competitive salary and offering good benefits.
Calvert surveyed 1,231 defined contribution retirement plan
participants, including 401(k), 403(b) and 457 plan participants, and 295
eligible non-participants between July 29 and August 10. A report of selected
highlights is available here.
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