Almost 80% of employers anticipate that there will be an increased demand for access to savings and investment advice about their 401(k) plans, according to a new survey from Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Since the economic recession, nearly half of employers have seen an increase in interest among prospective employees about their retirement plans, the survey finds. As a result, plan sponsors feel increased responsibility for the financial well being of employees and are adapting their policies to meet the needs of today's multigenerational workforce.

The report finds that an overwhelming majority of plan sponsors (94%) believe it's important to retain older employees for a longer period of time in light of the talent and skills they possess.

In an effort to retain these workers, half of the employers surveyed offer flexible or customized work schedules; 33% are implementing education around retirement income and health care topics; 32% offer continuing education and development opportunities; 22% give employees the opportunity to work remotely; and 21% are offering extended benefits to older employees.

A full 98% of employers feel that attracting younger employees is important. In an effort to do so, 53% of the employees surveyed offer young workers the opportunity to continue their education and development, and 45% offer flexible or customized work schedules.

Almost three-quarters of employers say that health benefits are the top benefit in attracting and retaining talent, while retirement benefits come in second.

More than 60% of employers now offer access to advice and services that can help employees prepare for retirement. Almost half of employers offer research or literature to educate employees about investment decisions; 39% offer access to a one-on-one relationship with a financial adviser; 38% offer online tools to help manage banking and investment needs.

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