Public Sector Employees Report Confidence in Retirement Savings

October 19, 2007 ( - State and local government employees report they most often take savings cues from professionals, make retirement their top financial goal, and are extremely confident their strategy will lead to a secure retirement, according to a results of a new poll.

A news release said the survey, commissioned by ICMA-RC as part of National Save for Retirement Week (October 21-27), found nine out of 10 respondents said they are confident their strategy for saving will lead to a secure retirement. Additionally, 90% of the 500 ICMA-RC plan participants polled said retirement saving is their top financial priority.

Three-quarters of respondents said they believe they can maintain their standard of living in retirement with the financial resources they will have at hand, according to the news release. Almost one in five said they believe they will have a higher standard of living in retirement, while just one in 20 said they feel their standard of living in retirement will be worse than now. Nearly half of respondents reported they plan to keep working at least part time after retirement age.

Twenty-four percent of public employees polled said financial planning and investment professionals were their first choice for help in making retirement planning decisions. Employers and plan administrators were chosen by 22% of the respondents, followed by no other sources (chosen by one in five respondents), friends, family and co-workers, and magazines, newspapers and the Internet (13%).

The poll asked respondents if they had attempted to figure what monthly income they would need to live in retirement and 56% said they had. Of those, 88% said they believed they were on track to reach their monthly income goal. Three-quarters of those polled said contributing to a 457 plan was extremely or very important.

Health care expense in retirement was cited as the most serious threat to their plans by 59% of those surveyed. Forty-three percent said a drop in stock prices would seriously impact their retirement savings.

The telephone poll of ICMA-RC plan participants was conducted by Widener-Burrows & Associates Market Research September 11 through September 19, 2007. Forty-two percent of respondents were between the ages of 50 and 59, and another 31% were between the ages of 40 and 49.