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With an ever-shrinking workforce, the last thing trucking companies want to think about is how to encourage truck drivers to retire well. Most companies would rather focus on recruiting, yet, emphasizing driver retirement plans is probably one of the best strategies carriers can use to help improve driver retention.

While trucking is a lifestyle for most people, and many drivers may love what they do, money still matters. Saving for retirement came in third for truck drivers as one of their top concerns in 2020. The two issues above that? Paying their bills, followed by their health (which probably includes how to afford healthcare).

Many Truck Drivers Aren’t Prepared for Retirement

Fifty-five percent of drivers surveyed said they weren’t sure when they planned to retire. For those who were postponing retirement, 64 percent of truckers said not having saved enough money was a concern. This compares to 45 percent of Americans who say they have no money set aside for retirement.

Carriers looking to distinguish themselves from competitors need to find whatever edge they can. Good routes, home time and attractive pay are a start. Looking beyond their truck drivers’ immediate needs and helping them plan for retirement – which seems out of reach for so many – is one more way of earning loyalty.

How Can Trucking Companies Help Drivers Prepare for Retirement?

Setting up a company retirement plan is a good start, but trucking companies that go beyond this will distinguish themselves further. Doing this may require a little more effort and likely some outside help from a financial planner.

Here are a few tips to help you build an attractive retirement program for truck drivers: 

  • Easy Sign-Up. Your plan should offer automatic enrollment to make the process as smooth and easy as possible for all concerned. From there, build in automatic increases to contributions at specific intervals so drivers know what they can look forward to over time.
  • Rollover Existing Investments. Help drivers coming from other employers to maximize their investments from other plans by transferring them into your own plan.
  • Educate. Most people struggle with financial planning. If you build into your program a means of offering support and planning advice to your drivers you can help give them the tools to go beyond doing the bare minimum in saving for retirement, and even life in general.
  • Be Involved. Include touchpoints with truck drivers that match with their stage of life and identify where they need help most. Drivers in their fifties may need to redirect some of their income to do top-ups to maximize their savings as they get nearer to retirement. Younger drivers may benefit more from options such as matching contributions to get them started along with taking advantage of opportunities to get tax savings.
  • Offer Holistic Planning. Drivers may have other assets and investments as well as spouses who have their own plans. Make sure these factors are taken into account to ensure maximum returns.   

Helping Truck Drivers Save for Retirement Makes Good Business Sense

Given that retirement savings is such a key issue for truckers, it should only make sense for trucking companies to want to address this problem. Offering truck drivers solutions that eliminate worries and distractions means they can be more engaged and focused on safe driving.

From a driver retention perspective, truckers who see that their employers are investing in them will be far more likely to stay with a company. As many as  75 percent of new hires at a company offering a 401(k) said the retirement plan was a compelling reason to stay. 

And while you may think that retirement is an issue for only your older drivers, you’d be wrong. Millennials also care about retirement, with 90 percent of employees 18 to 34 years old saying they preferred benefits over pay. 

By offering an attractive retirement package, you’ll not only be helping your older drivers, you’ll be making it easier to recruit and retain younger truck drivers. You’ll also be presenting your company as a viable option for others to consider. 

Customers want to hire reliable trucking companies. One of the factors they may consider is how well-managed your company is. If they see that you treat your team well and are committed to attracting and retaining the best drivers, they’ll feel more confident that you can deliver.

Yes, developing and managing a solid retirement package for your trucking team will take time and require investment. But the cost of not helping your truck drivers stop worrying about retirement could be more expensive for you in the end. 

Like all employees, your drivers will end up retiring sooner or later. In part, it’s your choice as to how soon and how well they get there.