One in five Virginia Tech employees who are eligible for the university’s voluntary retirement savings option, cash match, are not participating. Of the employees who are investing, 55 percent  are only contributing the minimum requirement to receive the match. This means thousands of employees are missing out on the opportunity to save more for retirement.

When asked why they are not saving more for retirement, many of the employees who Virginia Tech’s Retirement Plan Coordinator Ann Cronley works with cite their age, student debt, rising costs, and the need to save for other important events, including their children’s education.

Of all Americans, millennials are the least likely of all age groups to have substantial retirement savings, according to a recent survey conducted by GoBankingRates. And, while that’s troubling, Cronley said the numbers show that older Americans also are not saving for retirement — and that’s even more concerning.

More than 50 percent of people between the ages of 35-54 and 28 percent of people ages 55 and older have not started saving or are not saving enough for retirement, according to the survey.

With the rising cost of living, the future is becoming more expensive for most Americans. According to Cronley, everyone who is working should invest in their future regardless of their age.

“We tell employees that they have to find a way to start saving as early as possible, even if it’s just a few dollars per pay period,” said Cronley. “Not saving now will impact their long-term futures, especially given the uncertainty that surrounds Social Security retirement.”

To encourage employees to plan for their future, the Virginia Tech Department of Human Resources hosts a variety of retirement planning sessions to help employees of all ages. This year’s topics range from the impact the upcoming presidential election may have on the global financial and economic landscape to how to be emotionally prepared for retirement. Overview sessions about each of the university’s retirement plans will also be offered.

The “Investing in your Future” sessions begin Oct. 7 and will continue through January. Employees are encouraged to attend as many sessions as they’d like. More information on each session, as well as registration, is available online.

Many other resources are also available to ensure employees are well-prepared for retirement ,including meetings with retirement counselors and a retirement planning guide.

For more information about retirement planning, contact the HR Service Center at 540-231-9331 or

Written by Katie Huger, employee communications manager, and Mackenzie Nicely, a senior from Lexington, Virginia, majoring in public relations and political science.

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