When I read results from Towers Watson’s recent Global Workforce Study that shows almost half of U.S. workers (49%) are willing to trade paid time off and future career advancement opportunities for guaranteed retirement benefits, I wondered if maybe they felt the same way: Do employees think a secure retirement largely is out of their control?
According to TW, less than half of employees (46%) are comfortable they will be able to manage their financial resources to provide for their retirement needs; only a third (34%) feel comfortable managing their health care needs in retirement. Further, while 45% feel confident they have enough financial resources to live comfortably 15 years into retirement, only 29% feel the same way 25 years into retirement.
That’s in line with findings from the 2012 Retirement Confidence Survey that show just 14% of respondents are very confident they’ll be able to finance a secure retirement, an all-time low in the 20 years the Employee Benefit Research Institute has been conducting the survey.
Still, new numbers from Fidelity show that 401(k) balances — obviously the primary retirement-savings vehicle — are at an all-time high.
EBN (@EBNmagazine) asked recently on twitter: How can both things be true? How can retirement savings be at an all-time high, but confidence at an all-time low?
“My guess: Incredible stress/paranoia about not having enough money [is] fueling increased boomer savings,” tweeted Suzanne Woolley via @WealthWatch.
What’s your theory on why employees are saving more, but still are more fearful — so much so that they’re willing to trade career advancement for guaranteed income? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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