Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Sims, Clarence A.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Management


Metal-workers--Pensions; Retirement


The purpose of this study is twofold: (1) to discover the extent to which small metalworking establishments in three geographically separate industrial areas employ retirement plans and salient factors influencing their use; and (2) to determine the practicability and effectiveness of retirement plans as non-wage compensation. The primary source of information was a mail questionnaire sent to 299 presidents of small metalworking firms in the Rockford, Quad-Cities, and Peoria areas. Additional information was obtained through library research. The data revealed the following: 1. The age and size of the companies. 2. The approximate age and service length of employment forces. 3. The extent to which retirement plans are currently in use; what types; when introduced; how administered; their cost to employees; and their effect upon labor turnover, productivity, and employee morale. 4. The influence of unionization and other factors upon decisions to install retirement plans in these selected companies. 5. The extent to which firms without plans are currently considering the adoption of retirement plans in the near future. 6. Opinions as to age and length service employees who are most greatly motivated by retirement plans. 7. The degree of satisfaction with retirement plans and efforts being made to achieve their maximum value. 8. The effectiveness of retirement plans relative to other fringe benefits as ranked by these small metalworking managers. The study reaches the following conclusions: 1. Business trends, government pressures, and social changes will continue to force this problem upon the smaller business. 2. Retirement plans were used extensively within the small metalworking industry. 46.1 percent of respondents supported this fact. 3. A positive correlation of .72 existed between company age and incidence of retirement plans. 4. Use of plans increased as employment size increased. This was indicated by a .69 correlation between these variables. 5. Nearly all firms indicated satisfaction with their plans and stated that these plans were used as measures to attract employees, reduce labor turnover, increase productivity, and raise employee morale. 6. Middle age and longer service employees were most motivated. 7. The majority of firms without plans were considering them. 8. Profit sharing plans were more effective and more extensively used than pension plans. These were the only two types found to be used. 9. Unionization had little effect upon retirement plan decisions. 10. Bank trust departments were the most favored administrators. Insurance companies were also widely used. No plan was found to be administered by a labor union and few were in pooling agreements. 11. Profit sharing plans ranked high while pension plans ranked low in effectiveness relative to other fringe benefits. From these conclusions, the following recommendations are made: 1. The small business manager must become better acquainted with this problem. Communicative media and educational means must be utilized. 2. Management must be sensitive to employee goals and values, integrating them with management goals through retirement plan usage. 3. The small business manager must continue to seek other motivational measures in addition to retirement plans.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [92]-97)


x, 107 pages




Northern Illinois University

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