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Retirement Woes Cross Class, Gender Lines

Original content from United Benefit Advisors (UBA)

While a company’s workers may differ in age, gender and in a range of other categories, new research suggests they share at least one common attribute – a lack of confidence about retirement savings.

Young and old employees have the most confidence about retirement, according to a OneAmerica survey from earlier this year, although those numbers still don’t tip to the majority. Out of more than 6,000 respondents, 44 percent of plan participants between ages 20 and 30, and 45 percent of those older than 50, reported being “very confident” or “confident” that they will be able to maintain their current lifestyle in retirement, according to the research reported in Employee Benefit News.

Workers in the middle of their careers were even more worried about their retirement prospects, with only 37 percent of 30- to 40-year-olds and 35 percent of 40- to 50-year olds expressing that level of confidence.

As expected, merely making the monthly bills outranked saving for the future for the nation’s middle class. An industry survey reported that 59 percent of middle class respondents are very clear that their top day-to-day concern is “paying the monthly bills.” Just 13 percent of respondents categorized retirement savings as a priority.

An information gap may be partly to blame for the retirement jitters. More than half of Generations X and Y workers say they have little or no knowledge about investments and retirement options, according to a recent study.

“There’s a lot of attention on the baby boomers (78 million workers), but there are nearly 116 million Americans ages 20 to 47, and as an industry we need to help these Americans plan and save for retirement,” said Cecilia Shiner, senior analyst with LIMRA Retirement Research.

Research also reveals a gender gap when it comes to retirement confidence. A PLANSPONSOR report on the OneAmerica survey noted that 44 percent of men said they were “very confident” or “confident” about their retirement status, while only 33 percent of women said the same.