TIAA-CREF survey shows two-thirds of Americans trust financial advice from employers

NEW YORK, NY, November 29, 2012 – According to a recent study released by TIAA-CREF, 66 percent of employed individuals surveyed said they trust the financial advice provided by their employers. Only 27 percent of employees, however, seek financial advice at work, compared to the 42 percent who turn to friends and family for advice.

The survey was conducted by an independent research firm and polled a random sample of more than 1,000 adults nationwide on their attitudes, preferences and behaviors about receiving financial advice.

“While employers aren't always the first source for financial advice, when employees have access to advice through the worksite, it carries significant weight,” said Ed Moslander, senior managing director, Institutional Sales and Service, TIAA-CREF. “And the fact that many individuals turn to family and friends for advice points to an important opportunity for employers to help their workers access professional, objective advice to build their financial well-being.”

Additional analysis of TIAA-CREF’s own client base shows that employer-sponsored plans evoke trust and action. Individuals who received advice through their employer-sponsored TIAA-CREF retirement plans are five times more confident about their savings than the average American.1 In addition, participants who received TIAA-CREF’s advice, on average, may have $200,000 more in savings at retirement over the course of a 30-year career.2

“We’ve seen firsthand how personalized and objective advice in the workplace helps drive positive outcomes for our clients.3 Last year, two-thirds of those participants who took advantage of TIAA-CREF’s advice took action – choosing to save more, review their retirement plan portfolio allocation or rebalance their portfolio4 – and nearly half have increased their contributions to their retirement funds5,” Moslander added.

Earlier this year, TIAA-CREF introduced an expanded portfolio of advice and planning resources for plan sponsors and their participants, which includes an updated online resource center for clients, new online retirement planning tools, additional in-person advisory services and the enhancement of TIAA-CREF’s comprehensive financial education program, known as Financial Essentials.

TIAA-CREF has been offering personalized retirement plan financial advice since 2005 at no additional cost to individual clients.6 The company currently offers in-person financial services at more than 65 offices across the country, in addition to phone representatives who are licensed and trained to provide advice. These services provide individuals with a suggested asset class mix and specific investment recommendations, designed to improve their chances of successfully reaching their retirement income goals.

For more information, read the TIAA-CREF Financial Advice Survey Executive Summary.  (PDF)

Survey Methodology
The survey was conducted by KRC Research by phone among a national random sample of 1,006 adults age 18 years and older nationwide between July 11, 2012 and July 17, 2012. The margin of error for the entire sample is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points

TIAA-CREF ( is a national financial services organization with $495 billion in assets under management (as of 9/30/2012) and is the leading provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical and cultural fields.

Media contacts
Steve Gawlik
TIAA-CREF 888 200-4062

Chad Peterson
TIAA-CREF / 888 200-4062