Some workers at Donald Trump's organizations may wish they had never heard the words, "You're hired!"
That's because the 401(k) offered to the employees at Trump's 35 entities -- from Trump Model Management to Trump Sales & Leasing Chicago -- is what Bloomberg calls a "stingy" plan. It scored only 30 points out of a possible 100 on the news organization's ratings system for 401(k) plans. A spokesman for Trump didn't immediately return a CBS MoneyWatch request for comment.
With American corporations shifting away from traditional pension plans in favor of defined-contribution plans such as 401(k)s, that puts the onus on workers to sock away money and manage their own retirement funds. And when an employer adds limitations, such as delaying enrollment or vesting, that can throw up roadblocks to a secure retirement.
In the case of Trump's plan, employees can't even join until they've worked for at least one year, an unusually long period given that the majority of plans now offer instant eligibility.
While Trump has a matching contribution, employees face yet another catch. The organization contributes only at the end of the calendar year. That means any workers who leave midyear will end up missing out on the employer match.
Workers who are employed by firms with subpar retirement plans feel a real dollar impact. According to BrightScope, the Trump 401(k) plan receives a 59 point rating out of a possible 100 points. The 32-point difference between Trump and the highest-rated plan among its peers (which earned 91 points) equates to an additional 18 years of work, and up to $112,700 in lost retirement savings.
At the end of 2013, the retirement plan for Trump's organizations held about $22.9 million in assets, according to a form filed with the U.S. Department of Labor. The average employee account holds about $20,000, Bloomberg noted.
That isn't exactly preparing Trump's workers for a secure retirement. Their balance is even lower than the average 401(k) balance for many Americans, which is on average $58,000, according to a BlackRock survey published last year. That's more than twice what Trump employees have saved.
While Trump's retirement plan may not be winning any awards, Americans in general are also lagging in preparing for their golden years. Many experts believe the country is heading for a retirement crisis. The rule of thumb is that retirees will need $1 million saved to live on $40,000 per year in retirement for 30 years. But only a fraction of Americans have that much socked away before they turn 65.