Why Your Business—and Your Employees—Need a 401(k)
Is your business ready to move to the next level? Are you looking for a way to attract and retain the top talent you need in order to get there? Are you looking for a way to solve one of the most expensive problems encountered by growing enterprises?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it may be time to equip your business with one of the most popular benefits—for owners and employees—that has been used successfully by both multi-national corporations and small sole proprietorships to increase their competitiveness and the satisfaction and loyalty of their team members: an employer-sponsored 401(k) retirement savings plan.
Without going all the way into the “411” of the 401(k), suffice it to say that since its establishment by Congress in 1978, well over 600,000 accounts have been established, with around 60 million active participants and now-retired individuals contributing or receiving benefits. Here are a few good reasons why your company should join the 401(k) crowd if you haven’t already.
1 – Getting and keeping the best and brightest.
We’ve written before about how a well-designed 401(k) plan can position your business to successfully compete for top talent in any industry. Research indicates that 57% of candidates report that a company’s benefits package is a key factor they consider before accepting a job offer. Offering a partial match of employee 401(k) contributions can put you ahead of the competition, which can be especially important in the current, tight job market.
2 – Reducing turnover.
Related to #1, encouraging your team members to stick around for the long haul makes great financial sense. Replacing and retraining an employee can cost as much as two times the employee’s salary—and for managerial employees, it can amount to even more. And that’s just the costs you can enter on a spreadsheet. You also need to consider the hits to morale, momentum, and institutional memory. Remember, we’re talking about voluntary turnover—what happens when someone quits for a better offer elsewhere. In 2021, the national average turnover rate was 57.3%. But research indicates that “highly engaged employees” are 75% less likely to leave. Those are the people you want to keep. One way to do that is by offering them an excellent reason to stay—a 401(k) plan.
3 – Business tax credits.
With the 2019 passage of the SECURE (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement) Act, the pot for employers offering 401(k)s jumped tenfold through increased tax credits for small businesses offering 401(k)s for the first time. Enterprises with one to 100 employees can receive tax credits equal to as much as $5,000 (subject to certain computations based on the number of highly compensated employees, or HCEs) for qualified startup costs of a 401(k) plan. And if you offer automatic enrollment with your new or existing plan, you can get an additional tax credit of $500. These credits apply for the first three years of the plan, which can mean as much as $16,500 in tax credits for your business. In other words, your “partners” at the IRS will give you credit on your business tax return for investing in your retirement security and that of your employees.
Savant Wealth Management’s mission is to help offer reliable, fiduciary counsel and guidance for businesses, estates, and individuals who value careful, strategic planning for their financial futures. To learn more, click here to read a recent article by our Director of Retirement Plan Services, Patricia L. Hutchison, “Simply Irresistible: Make Your 401(k) Plan a ‘Must Have’ by Encouraging Increased Contributions.”
1 – Investment Company Institute, “Frequently Asked Questions about 401(k) Plan Research,” October 11, 2021
2 – Glassdoor.com, “The Benefits Employees Want Most,” undated.
3 – Nationwide.com, “Why You Should Join a 401(k) Plan,” undated.
4 – McFeely and Wigert, “This Fixable Problem Costs U.S. Businesses $1 Trillion,” Gallup.com, March 13, 2019
5 – Sky Arriela, “27 US Employee Turnover Statistics,” Zippia.com, August 30, 2022
6 – Employee Fiduciary, “Small Business 401(k) Tax Credits—Including SECURE Act Enhancements,” undated.