Higher Ed Employees not Acting on Retirement Concerns

February 2, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A recent survey conducted by ING’s U.S. Retirement Services indicates those employed in the higher education community are growing more nervous about their ability to retire comfortably, yet few are acting on their concerns.

The survey found that nearly two-thirds of respondents (62%) are less confident today about living comfortably in retirement than before the financial market decline in 2008, according to a press release.  However, roughly the same amount (63%) said they do not expect to delay their retirement in light of the market events.

While 64% said they had calculated their retirement income needs at some point in life, nearly one-third (30%) have not done so within the past year. In addition, 40% stated they had never changed their retirement plan investment mix, while nearly three in 10 (28%) have not changed this allocation within the past year. 

Of those who said they did not seek advice from a financial professional, only about one-quarter (26%) indicated they would consider doing so since the market decline. However, on a positive note, the survey found that a majority (55%) of those age 55 and over did seek retirement advice from a financial professional. 

“Like many others in the workforce, a considerable number of education employees may require more guidance than they realize to assess retirement income needs, put a plan together, and adjust their strategy to manage lifestyle and market changes,” said Brian Comer, president of Public Markets for ING U.S. Retirement Services, in the press release.

The Web-based survey was commissioned by ING and conducted by Synovate via a national internet consumer panel between October 14 and October 19, 2009.  Respondents included 301 individuals in the U.S. currently employed in the field of higher education (colleges, universities, technical schools, and other post-secondary schools) who participate in their employer’s defined contribution plan.