Taking the pulse: Plan sponsors share their 2021 priorities

As you look ahead to 2021, we thought it might be timely and valuable to share some insights from your peers across the industry.

Employee wellness

Many large plan sponsors are increasing access to financial/investment guidance and financial wellness programs, recognizing the financial fragility of many Americans exposed by the coronavirus.
With the backdrop of virtual work environments and the physical and emotional challenges brought on by the coronavirus, the overall wellbeing of employees continues to be a priority for plan sponsors.
Offering Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) continues to be a way to help employees be better prepared to manage health care expenses today and into the future, and plan sponsors are focusing efforts to increase participation and engagement with this important benefit.
Overall wellness includes keeping employees safe online, especially with the shift to virtual work environments. Cyber security continues to be top of mind with employers.

Plan investments

Retaining assets in-plan has now outranked plan costs as the top concern for plan sponsors as they focus on the CARES ACT and financial wellness education for employees.
Preference for Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) investing is on the rise, spurred by ongoing civil unrest.

Economic impact

401(k) plan sponsors are cautiously optimistic about the stability of the global economy, but their feelings on the future of the U.S. economy are mixed.
One-third of employers have suspended hiring, and one in five has resorted to layoffs or furloughs.


Escalent. Cogent Syndicated. Report Refresh. Retirement Planscape®, October 2020.

Bank of America plan sponsor client feedback, November 2020.