Poll: Minorities Lag in Retirement Savings

June 6, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Minorities lag in their retirement preparations even though they are as confident about their retirement security as are American workers overall, according to new survey data.

A news release about the 2007 Minority Retirement Confidence Survey (MRCS) said that minorities are less prepared for retirement even among workers with similar household income levels.

According to the survey, less than half of African-American workers (48%, down from 62% in 2003) and Hispanic workers (41%, down from 60% in 2003) say they have saved money for retirement, making them less likely than workers overall (66%) to have saved.

According to the news release, other survey highlights include:

  • Roughly one-quarter of African-Americans (27%, down from 46% in 1999 and 36% in 2003) and Hispanics (23%, down from 34% in 1999 and 31% in 2003) have tried to calculate how much they need to save for a comfortable retirement. In contrast, 43% of workers overall say they have tried to do a calculation.
  • Regardless of income, African-Americans (39%) are more likely than workers overall (30%) and Hispanics (22%) to say a traditional defined benefit pension plan will be a major source of funding for their retirement. Both African-Americans (41%) and Hispanics (38%) are more likely than workers overall (25%) to think Social Security will be a major source of income in retirement.
  • Up to 37% of African-Americans and 36% of Hispanics appear to be expecting to receive benefits from a defined benefit plan from a future employer, compared with 21% of workers overall.
  • More than half of African-Americans (53%), compared with four in 10 other workers (41%) expect to have access to retiree health insurance through an employer. A larger share of African-Americans (34%) than workers overall (24%) and Hispanics (18%) also think they have private coverage for long-term care expenses.

Minority workers express higher levels of confidence about the future of Social Security and Medicare. Half of Hispanics are very or somewhat confident about Social Security (51%) and Medicare (52%), while four in 10 African-Americans are confident about these programs (40% confident about Social Security, 43% confident about Medicare). In contrast, three in 10 workers overall report they are very or somewhat confident about Social Security (30% workers overall) and fewer than four in 10 are confident about Medicare (37% of workers overall, 36% of non-Hispanic whites).

The Minority Retirement Confidence Survey was conducted January 2 to February 8, 2007 through 21-minute telephone interviews with 500 African-Americans and 504 Hispanics age 25 and older in the United States.The survey was sponsored by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and Mathew Greenwald & Associates, a survey research firm, and was underwritten by a grant from The Rockefeller Foundation.

More information about results is here .