Retirement Concerns Plague Nonprofit Employees

January 11, 2013 ( - About 45% of all employees in the nonprofit sector are not confident with their ability to prepare financially for retirement, a survey shows.

TIAA-CREF Institute and Independent Sector found 42% of employees feel they are not accumulating sufficient financial resources to ensure their long-term financial security, even though most employees are covered by a retirement plan at work. Thirty percent of survey respondents have access to a defined benefit (DB) plan and 69% have access to a defined contribution (DC) plan. More than three-quarters of those with access to a DC plan make contributions.  

Only one-third of nonprofit sector employees have received retirement planning advice within the past three years. Two-thirds have not tried to determine how much money they will need to accumulate so that they can live comfortably in retirement. Even among savers who are confident they are saving the right amount, one-third have not attempted such a calculation.  

Household debt is likely a factor contributing to a lack of confidence regarding saving for retirement; 70% of early-career stage employees and 60% of mid-career employees consider their level of household debt to be a problem.

And while 59% of nonprofit sector employees are very or extremely satisfied with their current employment, the survey found nearly one-half have considered leaving the sector to receive greater compensation elsewhere.   

“The survey indicates that while nonprofit employees are satisfied overall with their jobs, they have concerns about their ability to retire comfortably,” said Paul Yakoboski, senior economist at the TIAA-CREF Institute. “The results demonstrate the need for financial planning and advice to help these employees combine the best of both worlds: a fulfilling job and a secure financial future.”  

TIAA-CREF Institute and Independent Sector polled 1,000 full-time employees (ages 21 and older) in the nonprofit and philanthropic sector about their motivations and satisfaction in the workplace, including their plans, preparation and readiness for retirement.  

The full report is here.