Are Participants Under 30 the DIFM Generation?

By Nevin Adams • March 28, 2017 • 0 Comments
A new survey offers some compelling insights about Millennial savers.

Millennials are already the largest workforce demographic, or course – and they haven’t all gotten to the workplace yet. A new JPMorgan survey provides three critical findings from their research on the attitudes toward saving and investing among the youngest members of the U.S. labor force.

Most identify as “do it for me” investors.

The JP Morgan research finds that those under 30 are more likely than those 30 and over to classify themselves as “do it for me” investors (69% vs. 56%). The researchers say that these Millennial investors want help selecting their investments and prefer to leave most of the ongoing investment decisions to experienced investment professionals (vs. “do it yourself” investors, who prefer to take a more hands-on approach).

They are also more likely than those over 30 to appreciate receiving notifications from their employer if they are not saving enough (62% of those under 30 vs. 34% of those 30 and over).

They expect their employers to take responsibility for helping them save and invest for retirement.

I remember a survey finding from years back that Millennials take it as a sign that their employer doesn’t care if they don’t provide at least some guidance on making these choices. The JP Morgan survey found that they are more likely to assign at least some degree of responsibility to their employers for helping them save for retirement (82% vs. 73% for those 30 and over). What’s more, half of those under 30 think their employer has an obligation to help them choose the right investments, compared with only 22% of their older colleagues.

They are among the strongest proponents of the “automatic 401(k).”

While some employers remain reluctant to impose their paternalism on plan design, the JP Morgan research finds that, particularly among participants under 30, support for automatic plan features, as well as asset allocation strategies. The report notes that a large majority are in favor of or at least neutral toward automatic enrollment (84%) and automatic contribution escalation (86%), and the group is close to unanimous in its support of target date funds and re-enrollment.