Retirement & Financial Planning Report

Confidence in having a secure retirement remains about at the same levels as in 2019 among both current employees and current retirees, although the impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic are starting to show, especially among those concerned about losing their jobs, a survey has shown.

The initial poll by the Employee Benefits Research Institute was done in January and then follow-up polling was done in late March to examine possible changes due to the virus impact.

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Among workers, the initial poll found 69 percent somewhat or very confident that they will have enough money to live comfortably in their retirement years, up from 67 percent in 2019 and continuing a general rise that began in 2012. That put confidence nearly as high as the peaks reached several times in a 25-year period.

In the follow-up questioning, that number dropped to 63 percent; further, confidence is about 20 points lower among those who have lost their jobs or fear they might, the study said. Actual or feared job loss currently is much less a concern in the federal government than in the private sector.

Among those already retired, confidence was at 77 percent in January—down from 82 percent in 2019—and was virtually unchanged in the March polling at 76 percent.

Said EBRI, “Retirement confidence continues to be closely related to having a retirement plan. Of workers who are confident, 96 percent contribute to a defined contribution plan, and 94 percent are currently saving for retirement. Good health also impacts confidence, with 68 percent of confident workers citing being in very good to excellent health.”

Debt has the opposite effect, it added, with just 41 percent of workers saying they have a major debt problem being very or somewhat confident in their retirement security, compared with 85 percent saying that debt is not a problem for them at all and 65 percent saying it is a minor problem for them.

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