Only a minority of all U.S. workers appear to be taking basic financial steps needed to adequately prepare for retirement, according to the 26th annual Retirement Confidence Survey released today by the nonprofit Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).
A “sizable percentage of workers” report they have virtually no savings and investments, the survey stated. Among workers surveyed, 26 percent say they have less than $1,000. However, those who indicate they and their spouse do not have a retirement plan are far more likely, compared to those who have a plan, to report this low level of savings (67 percent vs. 9 percent) and far less likely to report having saved at least $100,000 (5 percent vs. 34 percent).
These inadequate levels of retirement savings are striking despite 63 percent overall of workers in the 2016 survey reporting that they and/or their spouse are currently saving for retirement — up from 57 percent in 2013–2014, but still below the 65 percent measured in 2009.
Many workers acknowledge their savings shortfalls for retirement, stating they need to save a sizable, perhaps unmanageable, share of their total household income in order to live comfortably in retirement.
The percentage of workers very confident about having enough money for a comfortable retirement were at record lows between 2009 and 2013, and increased from 13 percent in 2013 to 22 percent in 2015, and, in 2016 has leveled off at 21 percent, the survey found.
The percentage of workers somewhat confident increased from 36 percent in 2015 to 42 percent in 2016, while the percentage not at all confident decreased from 24 percent in 2015 to 19 percent in 2016.
Retirees are more likely than workers to describe their level of debt as not a problem. Sixty-seven percent of retirees and 44 percent of workers indicate they do not have a problem with their level of debt.
See the full report.