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Only 13% of Small Employers Offer 401(k)s

Employers and employees at small businesses don't see eye to eye when it comes to 401(k)s, according to a Harris Interactive survey commissioned by ShareBuilder Advisors, a 401(k) administrator that specializes in serving small companies.

The "Small Business Annual Retirement Trends Survey" found that although 64% of employees at small companies believe their employers are obligated to offer a defined contribution plan, only 13% of small companies actually offer a 401(k) plan. Forty-seven percent of small business owners who don't currently offer a 401(k) plan said they never intend to do so, with the No. 1 reason being the wrong assumption that their employees are not interested.

"This report provides a wake-up call for small businesses that, in the past, may have been quick to discount the importance of a retirement program for their employees as well as themselves," said Stuart Robertson, general manager of the small business group at ShareBuilder. "The data is pretty compelling, as it reveals 80% of employees regard the 401(k) as a socially responsible' thing to do." Forty percent of employers believe a retirement plan is helpful in recruiting workers, but 60% of employees believe it's a key recruiting tool. Less than 20% of employers believe that having a 401(k) plan would deter employees from leaving the company, but 40% of employees believe it would keep people put.

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