Over one-quarter of public sector employees are not confident they’ll have enough money for a comfortable retirement, according to a study by the Center for State and Local Government Excellence and TIAA-CREF.
“If we were forced to condense the results of the study to a single sentence, public-sector workers are anxious regarding retirement income security despite near universal pension” availability, Paul Yakoboski, senior economist for TIAA-CREF, said Tuesday during a webinar discussing the findings.
Defined benefit plans are vastly more common among public sector employees than all U.S. workers. Nearly three-quarters or public employees have a DB plan, compared with 28% of the general population. The gap between public sector employees and the larger workforce who have a defined contribution plan is large, but less pronounced. Over half of all U.S. workers have a DC plan, compared with 31% of public employees.
The “2012 Retirement Confidence Survey of the State and Local Government Workforce,” which was released in July, found almost 60% of public-sector workers plan to work past the age they’d like to retire, Yakoboski said. The average preferred age for retirement among public-sector workers is 59, but the average expected is nearly 64.
The good news is that public sector employees appear to be actively working toward a secure retirement. Over 90% say they have saved money outside of their employer-sponsored plan. Of those, between 92% and 96% are currently saving, the report found.
Over half of public sector employees are somewhat confident that they are saving enough for retirement, while 18% are “not too confident” and 13% are “not at all confident.” Workers are far more confident about how their assets are invested than their actual savings. Twenty-seven percent said they were very confident about their investments, while 18% said they were either not too confident or not at all confident.