Wondering how to choose a retirement plan that will help you attract the kind of candidates you’d be thrilled to hire and work with for years to come? It’s helpful to look at what employees have come to expect – and love – about these plans in general.

From perk to expectation

Since the financial crisis of 2008, workers have become more aware and concerned about saving for retirement. As a result, employer-sponsored retirement plans are no longer an enticing perk, they”;re an expectation.

In 2013, 42 percent of retirement plan investors say they”;ve increased contribution rates to their workplace savings plan, individual retirement accounts (IRA) or health savings accounts, according to the Fidelity Five Years Later study.

But if you”;re looking to hire highly sought-after candidates, you might need to offer more than your run-of-the-mill, no-frills retirement plan. They want a plan they can brag about.

Here are three retirement plan features that will excite employees and candidates.

1. Employer match

While you may be hesitant to contribute to your employees”; retirement plan because of the added cost, it can make your company a lot more appealing to current and prospective employees.

A common matching program is 50 percent of the first 6 percent. Under this formula, the employer contributes 50 cents for every $1 the employee contributes, until the employee”;s contributions add up to 6 percent of total income for the plan year, at which time the employer”;s contributions stop until the next plan year. For example, if an employee has a salary of $50,000, and he contributed $3,000 (6 percent) of his income, your maximum employer contribution for the plan year would be $1,500. (Certain income restrictions may apply.)

Not only is this a powerful incentive for competitive candidates, an attractive employer match program gives your current employees more reason to stick around for the long haul. Think of it this way: Would you rather spend your money on your current employees”; retirement plan or recruiting and training new employees?

2. Investment advice and tools

Let”;s face it, not all of your employees are stock market tycoons, nor do they want to be. When it comes to investing and saving for retirement, many employees don”;t even know where to start.

A 2013 survey found that 62 percent of employees 25 and younger want their employers to show them how to spend less so they can save more, according to State Street Global Advisors.

Whether you have an in-house advisor or use a third-party service, employees will appreciate the expertise and guidance. Not only will it help them make more confident decisions about their investments, it also shows them you care about their retirement goals. And when you care about your employees, your employees are more likely to care about your company.

The survey also found that 74 percent of employees said they would like clear examples of how their retirement savings will pay off in the future, turning the abstract idea of saving for retirement into something more concrete.

Tools, such as online calculators and spreadsheet templates, can help your employees forecast their
savings and model potential changes. This way they can see, generally, how their savings will be impacted by adjustments, withdrawals or any other modifications before they make them.

3. Web and mobile access

From paying bills to balancing bank accounts, many of your employees are already managing most of their finances online, or even from their smartphone. So why would their retirement plan be an exception?

From requesting a loan to adjusting automatic deferral amounts and managing their investments, many plans offer an online portal where employees have access to their account, planning tools and educational information from anywhere, anytime.

This is also good news for you. With online access, employees can manage more of their plan on their own, instead of always coming to you for assistance.

Offering an attractive retirement plan doesn’t have to bust your budget. With Insperity Retirement Services, you can save on retirement plan costs and still provide employees with a first-class retirement package.

Read more: insperity.com