Principal logo

EBRI logo

2013 Retirement Confidence Survey: Retirement Confidence Remains at Historic Lows as Americans Grasp Reality of Savings Needs

WASHINGTON March 19, 2013 — /PRNewswire/ — Despite signs of economic recovery, a new survey says Americans’ confidence in their ability to afford a comfortable retirement remains at historic lows as workers appear to be grasping the realities of what they need to save.

The 2013 annual Retirement Confidence Survey, released today by the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) in Washington, and co-sponsored by the Principal Financial Group®, finds overall confidence levels are essentially unchanged since the record lows set in 2011. Only 13 percent are very confident they will have enough money for a comfortable retirement.  A full 28 percent1— the highest number recorded during the 23 years of the survey—are not at all confident.

Workers have growing doubts about their ability to pay for basic expenses in retirement and are least confident about being able to afford medical costs and long-term care.

The lack of confidence may also stem from a finding that workers seem to be realizing just how much they may need to save. Nearly 70 percent say they need to set aside 10 percent or more of total household income to fund a financially secure retirement. Four in 10 put the target at 20 percent or more.

Despite those projections, the survey finds less than half are taking steps to prepare and total savings remain modest. Saving and planning for retirement are overshadowed by immediate worries about job certainty, daily expenses and debt.

“Especially in the face of current financial challenges, Americans need a plan for saving and spending so they can manage short-term needs and better prepare for the long-term,” said Greg Burrows, senior vice president of The Principal®, a long-time underwriter of the Retirement Confidence Survey. “Using an online calculator or working with a financial professional to assess savings needs helps with setting realistic goals and getting on track toward a more secure future.”

The survey shows overall retirement confidence is 20 – 40 percent higher among workers who take positive financial actions including calculating retirement savings needs, saving in an employer-sponsored plan and getting advice from a financial professional.

Among other key findings available on the EBRI website at www.ebri.org:

About the Retirement Confidence Survey
This is the 23rd annual Retirement Confidence Survey, making it the longest-running annual survey of its kind in the nation.

The annual Retirement Confidence Survey is conducted by the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and Mathew Greenwald and Associates. The Principal Financial Group is among about two dozen organizations that provided funding for the survey. Full results are on the EBRI Website at www.ebri.org

More information on savings tools and resources are online at www.principal.com and
for more news and insights from The Principal, connect with us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ThePrincipal.

About the Principal Financial Group
The Principal Financial Group® (The Principal®)2 is a global investment management leader offering retirement services, insurance solutions and asset management. The Principal offers businesses, individuals and institutional clients a wide range of financial products and services, including retirement, asset management and insurance through its diverse family of financial services companies. Founded in 1879 and a member of the FORTUNE 500®, the Principal Financial Group has $403.0 billion in assets under management3 and serves some 18.3 million customers worldwide from offices in Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America and the United States. Principal Financial Group, Inc. is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol PFG. For more information, visit www.principal.com.

1Statistically equivalent to the record low recorded in 2011.
2“The Principal Financial Group” and “The Principal” are registered service marks of Principal Financial Services, Inc., a member of the Principal Financial Group.
3As of Dec.31, 2012

Greg Burrows, Senior Vice President, the Prin cipal Financial Group
Greg Burrows, Senior Vice President, the Prin cipal Financial Group
Nevin Adams, director of Education and External Relations for the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).
Nevin Adams, director of Education and External Relations for the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).

MPEG-4 Video

Right-click a link below for ‘SAVE’ options

Three steps to build retirement savings
More about the Retirement Confidence Survey

Audio

Right-click the button below for ‘SAVE’ options



Related Links

Principal.com
EBRI.org
Retirement Planning
ChooseToSave.org



Follow us on Twitter


Find us on Facebook