Participants in 401(k) plans are optimistic about the direction of the overall economy but less confident about their own financial future, according to a Mercer survey.
Of 1,502 active 401(k) participants surveyed between May 27 and June 15, 77% believe the economy will grow over the next 12 months, up 21 percentage points from June 2008. But 36% are concerned about job security and 35% have considered delaying retirement, up four and three percentage points, respectively, from June 2008.
Employee confidence about retirement historically rises and falls in tandem with their confidence about the health of the overall economy, Suzanne Nolan, partner and director of marketing and communications for Mercer's outsourcing business, said about the results of the Mercer Workplace Survey during a telephone interview.
“This is the first time we've seen such a departure,” she said. “At the macro level, (participants) are feeling more positive, but when they turn it internally they are not feeling the same optimism.”
Ms. Nolan said she believes the survey results underscore the severity of the recent global recession.