(Bloomberg View) — Most Americans need more help saving for retirement – and a new survey suggests they’re increasingly unlikely to get it.
In a survey of 1,003 workers released Tuesday, the Washington-based EBRI found that retirement savings for Americans remains poor. Just 61 percent of workers surveyed said they or their spouse were currently saving for retirement.
That’s a few points higher than the years immediately after the recession, but down from 2008 and 2009. Those low numbers aren’t just the result of a slow economic recovery causing people to temporarily stop 401(k) contributions.
Only 67 percent of workers told EBRI that they or their spouse had ever saved for retirement – lower than any year before the recession for which EBRI reports data.
Even those who do save for life after work generally aren’t saving much. Fifty-seven percent of workers surveyed told EBRI they had saved less than $25,000 for retirement. That includes 45 percent who have savings of less than $10,000.
But here’s the surprising part of the survey: Despite all this, public anxiety about retirement, which peaked in 2011, continues to recede. The share of workers who say they’re very or somewhat confident about living comfortably in retirement is now close to 60 percent, the most since 2008 and just shy of prerecession levels. (The rule of thumb is that you need 80 percent of your preretirement income to maintain your standard of living. And Social Security doesn’t cut it — the average payment for retired workers in February was $1,331.)