After pandemic, a more disciplined approach to retirement, new Voya data finds

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

72% of Voya retirement plan participants who changed their savings rate in Q2 2021 increased it

Voya retirement plan data and new Voya research show that millennials and Generation Z are most focused on saving more

WINDSOR, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), announced new findings from its own retirement plan participant database revealing that 72% of participants who changed their savings rate in the second quarter of 2021 increased their savings rate.1 The new data aligns with and supports Voya’s latest research: “Consumer Sentiment during COVID-19,” shows that more than half (63%) of Americans agree the pandemic has made them more focused on planning for retirement2 — a promising outlook for the future of retirement savers nationwide.

“We know the COVID-19 financial recovery is not over for many. Still, seeing that some individuals have adopted better savings habits during a time of economic setback shows us that more and more individuals are getting serious about saving for their future,” said Heather Lavallee, CEO of Wealth Solutions for Voya Financial. “We’ve seen this increase in retirement savings across all generations. And while it’s not surprising to see baby boomers and Generation X saving more — as they may be earning more than younger generations — the pandemic has clearly made saving for the future a priority among all generations as both millennials and Generation Z are also saving more. Finding that retirement remains a priority amid this uncertainty provides a promising outlook, and that is good news.”

As a result of long-term market volatility, economic shut-downs and high unemployment rates, the pandemic created an environment of marked financial uncertainty; however, it also left an imprint on the mindset of many individuals, highlighting the continued need to prepare for future unexpected events. According to Voya’s research, given their financial experiences over the past year, nearly three-quarters (72%) of Americans agreed they have become more of a “saver” and not a spender.3 When asked why they are saving more, some of the top reasons included saving vs. spending stimulus money or COVID-19 relief funds, decreased discretionary spending and an increased focus on emergency savings as COVID-19 helped open one’s eyes to the need to save more for the unexpected.4

Bridging the generation gap

Voya’s research among Americans also revealed that nearly half (41%) of millennials have been negatively impacted financially by COVID-19.5 Despite these impacts, the research also found that in thinking about their experiences over the past 12 months, more than half of millennials (68%) are now more focused on planning for retirement.6 And according to Voya’s own retirement plan participant data,7 they’re not just saying it, but they’re also putting insights into action: Of those who changed their savings rates in April 2021, a time when stimulus checks and many company bonus payouts took effect, a significant amount of Generation Z (82%) and millennials (73%) increased their savings rates.

“While the data outlined by our own participant actions and broad consumer sentiment shows great progress, we know we are not out the woods yet, and there is still much more work to be done,” added Lavallee. “As the economy returns to ‘normal’ and individuals are provided with more opportunity for discretionary spending, prioritizing saving over spending is going to remain a critical component for future success. We can’t lose sight of the importance of saving for retirement, and employers should help support this momentum.”

Employee benefits could be a differentiator

With employer-provided benefits gaining popularity in a post-COVID-19 world, and as open enrollment season approaches, there are key opportunities for employers to keep in mind. Among working Americans, Voya’s research also found a significant amount of individuals are interested in support from their employer when it comes to improving their overall financial wellness (81%), helping them generate income in retirement (80%), providing step-by-step guidance to improve their retirement outlook (78%), and helping them navigate life and workplace events such as accident or critical illness benefits (75%).8 These numbers are even higher among working millennials seeking support to improve their overall financial wellness (83%) and guidance on improving ones retirement outlook (85%).9

As an industry leader focused on the delivery of health, wealth and investment solutions to and through the workplace, Voya Financial is committed to delivering on its mission to make a secure financial future possible for all Americans — one person, one family, one institution at a time.

1. & 7. Internal Voya retirement plan participant data as of June 30, 2021.
2-6, 8 & 9. Based on the results of a Voya Financial survey conducted through Ipsos on the Ipsos eNation omnibus online platform among 1,005 adults aged 18+ in the U.S., featuring 499 Americans working full-time or part-time; 284 Millennials and 191 Millennials working full-time or part-time. Research was conducted June 3-4, 2021.

About Voya Financial®

Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), provides health, wealth and investment solutions that enable its approximately 14.8 million individual, workplace and institutional clients to achieve their financial wellness goals with confidence. With a vision to be America’s Retirement Company®, Voya’s products, solutions and digital capabilities help create a better financial future for all. Voya is a Fortune 500 company that had $7.6 billion in revenue in 2020 and $729 billion in total assets under management and administration as of March 31, 2021. Certified as a “Great Place to Work” by the Great Place to Work® Institute, Voya is equally committed to conducting business in a way that is socially, environmentally, economically and ethically responsible. Voya has been recognized as a 2020 World’s Most Admired Company by Fortune magazine; one of the 2020 World’s Most Ethical Companies® by the Ethisphere Institute; as a member of the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index; and as a “Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion” on the Disability Equality Index by Disability:IN. For more information, visit Follow Voya Financial on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter @Voya.

About Ipsos

Ipsos is the world’s third largest market research company, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people. Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multispecialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. We serve more than 5000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD). ISIN code FR0000073298, Reuters ISOS.PA, Bloomberg IPS:FP

Ipsos is a separate entity and not a corporate affiliate of Voya Financial®.


Laura Maulucci
Voya Financial
Office: (860) 580-1278
Cell: (508) 353-6913

Source: Voya Financial, Inc.