Middle Class Agrees They Are Responsible for Funding Retirement

October 23, 2012 ( – Fifty percent of middle class Americans say they are responsible for funding their retirement.

By Rebecca Moore | October 23, 2012
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According to results from the annual Wells Fargo Retirement Survey, 27% assign responsibility to employers through pensions, and 24% say the government is responsible for funding retirement through Social Security. While individuals see themselves as primarily responsible for retirement funding, there is a difference of intensity based on party affiliation; 56% of Republicans say retirement is on the shoulder of the individual through savings and investments versus 42% of identified Democrats.     

Despite agreeing they are responsible for funding their retirement, 52% of respondents say their most important day-to-day financial concern is paying the monthly bills, up from 37% a year ago. Saving for retirement is second, with less than one-fifth (16%) naming it a key concern. More than half of pre-retired Americans (53%) say they are not confident they will have saved enough for the life they want in retirement, up from 42% percent in 2011. 

One-third (30%) of Americans say they will need to “work until at least 80,” in order to live comfortably in their retirement years, up from 25% a year ago. Yet, 73% of Americans say their employer would not want them to work in their 80s. Similar to 2011, 70% of middle class Americans say they will work in retirement, with 39% saying they will work out of financial necessity.    

Thirty-four percent of middle class Americans estimate their retirement income will consist of 50% or less of their current annual income.