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Empower Retirement: American workers seek equal treatment from financial services

Jan 14, 2021
Press Release

Survey shows traditionally underrepresented investors believe retirement planning is a luxury

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo., Jan. 14, 2021 — When it comes to retirement planning, many working Americans seek equal treatment from providers of financial services that prioritizes inclusive values. This finding is based on survey results from Empower Retirement.

Survey results show that diversity and inclusion are key issues for investors who have traditionally been underrepresented, including women, Hispanic Americans, Black Americans and Asian Americans.

More than 70% of traditionally underrepresented investors say retirement planning is not created equally, and they worry they will not be taken seriously by financial professionals, according to research from the Empower Institute,the research arm of Empower Retirement.1 Read more findings and analysis in the paper The State of Financial Inclusion here.

“It’s clear that employees are seeking personalized financial advice designed around their lives, values and goals,” said Edmund F. Murphy III, Empower Retirement President and CEO. “It’s imperative that retirement be reachable for all employees, no matter their cultural backgrounds, what stage of life they are in or how much money they earn.”

Survey highlights:

  • 70% of all survey respondents agree that retirement planning is a luxury not afforded to all Americans (64% of Hispanic Americans agree, 64% of Black Americans agree; and 78% percent of Asian Americans agree).
  • 52% percent of all survey respondents say the financial system is out of reach for themselves (63% of Hispanic Americans agree; 41% of Black Americans agree; and 60% of Asian Americans agree).
  • 56% of all respondents say they want to hear financial advice from someone who looks like them (60% of Hispanic Americans agree; 66% of Black Americans agree; and 60% of Asian Americans agree).
  • 53% of all respondents say their top priority related to an advisor is finding someone who tries to understand their unique needs, with many of those from diverse backgrounds also looking for someone from a similar demographic to themselves (42% of Hispanic Americans agree; 49% of Black Americans agree; and 56% of Asian Americans agree).

According to the paper, many people in the U.S. do not feel as connected to the financial services industry as they could. As a result, they may end up saving less, retiring later and living on less income in retirement than they would if they had worked with professionals to create and maintain an effective retirement strategy.

“As an industry, we can change these perceptions by being straightforward in our communications, offering unbiased advice and providing digital tools so employees can better gauge where they are financially and how they can reach their financial goals,” Murphy said. “Most importantly, we must keep diversity and inclusion top of mind. We want to meet employees from all demographics where they are in their lives and help them plan for a successful retirement.”

Empower Institute’s research concludes that employers can help improve financial inclusion by insisting that retirement communications are accessible and easy to understand, offering unbiased advice, continually letting employees know about the financial planning tools available to them, and connecting employees to digital tools that can be personalized to help employees meet their financial goals.

Empower Institute explores many aspects of retirement savings and offers potential solutions to the challenges facing American workers today. Read more research and analysis from their team here.

About Empower Retirement

Headquartered in metro Denver, Empower Retirement administers over $800 billion in assets for more than 12 million retirement plan participants.2,3 It is the nation’s second-largest retirement plan recordkeeper by total participants.4 Empower serves all segments of the employer-sponsored retirement plan market: government 457 plans; small, midsize and large corporate 401(k) clients; non-profit 403 (b) entities; private-label recordkeeping clients; and IRA customers. Personal Capital, a subsidiary of Empower Retirement, is an industry-leading hybrid wealth manager. For more information please visit and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Media Contacts:

Empower Retirement:

Stephen Gawlik,, 617-417-4408

Monica Mendoza,, 719-373-2460


Learn More:

To learn more about how we’re empowering plan sponsors and their participants to be more engaged in their retirement plans than ever before, call us at 800-719-9914.

1 This survey was conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Empower Retirement from July 14 to 22, 2020, among 2,014 U.S. citizens. To qualify, respondents needed to currently live in the U.S., ages 18+, employed full time, and involved in financial decision making.

2 As of Sept. 30, 2020. Information refers to the business of Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company and its subsidiaries, including Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company of New York and GWFS Equities, Inc. GWLA’s consolidated total assets under administration (AUA) were $709.9B. AUA is a non-GAAP measure and does not reflect the financial stability or strength of a company. GWLA’s statutory assets total $54.8B and liabilities total $51.8B. GWLANY statutory assets total $1.69B and liabilities total $1.57B.

3 Estimated joint assets under administration of Empower Retirement and MassMutual.

4 Pensions & Investments 2020 Defined Contribution Survey Ranking as of April 2020.

Online Advice and the managed account service are part of the Empower Retirement Advisory Services suite of services offered by Advised Assets Group, LLC, a registered investment adviser.

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