Americans' confidence in a secure retirement is inching up, but there has been no progress in getting people who haven't planned for retirement to start planning, said the 25th annual Retirement Confidence Survey released Tuesday by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.
After hitting record lows from 2009 to 2013, retirement confidence has been on the rise, with 22% of those surveyed by EBRI and Greenwald & Associates now very confident, up from 18% in 2014 and 13% in 2013. Another 36% were somewhat confident, compared to 37% in 2014 and 38% in 2013. “They're getting more realistic and getting a better understanding of what they need to do,” said Craig Copeland, senior research associate at EBRI and co-author of the survey, in an interview.
The key determinant of confidence was whether people already had a retirement savings plan. For those without a retirement plan, confidence remained flat, Mr. Copeland said.
Only 48% of people surveyed have ever tried to calculate their retirement needs, EBRI found. “More workers need to take the time to go through a calculation,” said Luke Vandermillen, vice president for retirement and investor services at Principal Financial Group, one of the survey sponsors. “So many things about retirement tend to be beyond your control. Planning and taking action can help,” Mr. Vandermillen said in an interview, adding that plan sponsors could also make it easier to save through plan design changes.
An employer-sponsored retirement savings plan is a primary vehicle for savings, with 71% of employed workers offered one at work, and 83% of eligible workers contributing to it, the survey found.
The survey results are available on EBRI's website.