Employees surveyed age 41-50 are the most worried about
outliving their retirement savings, with 83% of employees
in this age bracket expressing strong concern. Women are
somewhat more concerned than men, with 84% of females
characterizing themselves as very worried versus 74% of
The survey found the majority (67%) are either behind or have not started saving yet for their retirement. While a fifth have done no retirement planning, 25% have had formal discussions about their retirement with a financial planner and 18% have completed a financial plan.
Broken down by age bracket, the survey found those employees closest to retirement (age 31-50) are the ones feeling the least prepared. Of those, 68% age 31-40 say they have not yet started saving for retirement, with 71% age 31-50 reporting the same and 66% over the age of 51 similarly unprepared.
Additionally, 22% of those over the age of 50 have “done no retirement planning,” compared with 20% of employees age 41-50 and 25% of employees age 21-30.
Both employers and employees recognize the seriousness of this retirement shortfall. This year, 28% of employers list “providing retirement education/planning” as the second most important employee benefits strategy behind “work/life balance.”
Similar patterns were reported by employees with children. Of this group, 55% report being significantly behind in their education savings goals, with 28% having not saving at all.
Only 23% of employees surveyed are on track for achieving, or have achieved, their savings goals.
The survey found the most popular savings vehicles for education to be:
- 20% – mutual funds
- 19% – 401(k) or 403(b) plans
- 17% – CDs/Money Market Accounts
- 16% 529 Plans
The MetLife Employee Benefits Trend Study was conducted during the third quarter of 2002. The survey polled 605 HR/Benefits executives and 1,038 active full-time employees from companies with at least 50 employees.
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