Public Sector Employees Uncertain About Retirement Income

July 26, 2012 ( - Only 19% of full-time public sector workers are very confident in their retirement income prospects, with many expressing concern about the impact of rising health care costs, a report found.

The Center for State and Local Government Excellence, along with the TIAA-CREF Institute, discovered that only 16% of teachers and 25% of police and firefighters are very confident they are saving the right amount for retirement. A full 57% of public sector workers expect to work longer than they would like, and 72% expect to work for pay after retiring. 

The “2012 Retirement Confidence Survey of the State and Local Government Workforce” surveyed more than 1,200 state and local government employees across the nation, including public educators, police and firefighters. 

“Much has been written about the financial condition of pension plans and plan reform in the public sector, but little has been documented about public sector workers’ confidence, expectations and behavior with respect to retirement planning and saving,” said Paul Yakoboski, senior economist with the TIAA-CREF Institute.

In particular, the survey indicates the rising cost of health care is a factor in the tepid expression of overall retirement confidence.  Only 22% are very confident that they will have enough money to take care of medical expenses during retirement, and two-thirds are not confident that Medicare will continue to provide benefits of equal value to those provided today

To view the full survey, click here.