While only 14% of workers are very confident that they’ll have the money to retire, workers say the more pressing concerns of job security and mounting debt are taking precedence over retirement concerns, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s 2012 Retirement Confidence Survey, released Tuesday.
Americans’ confidence in their ability to retire comfortably is stagnant at historically low levels–with just 14% of workers saying they are “very confident” they can retire comfortably–which the EBRI survey says is statistically equivalent to the survey low of 13% measured in 2011 and 2009.
“In 2012, from polling done just two months ago, we find overall retirement confidence this year is statistically unchanged: It has leveled out–no better or worse than last year–but this plateau is at historically low levels,” Jack VanDerhei, EBRI research director and co-author of the report, told reporters on a conference call to announce the survey results. “Americans’ retirement confidence has plateaued at the lowest levels we’ve seen in two decades of conducting this survey.”
The survey was conducted in January through 20-minute telephone interviews with 1,262 individuals (1,003 workers and 259 retirees) age 25 and older in the United States, using random digit dialing along with a cell phone supplement to obtain a representative cross section of the U.S. population.
The survey, co-sponsored by The Principal Financial Group, found that workers in debt have the least confidence in retirement security, and that workers’ current worries about job security and debt overshadow their long-term planning for retirement. Forty-two percent of workers identify job uncertainty as the most pressing financial issue facing most Americans today.