Workers under 35 Not Confident About Retirement Future

March 27, 2007 ( - Retirement plan participants under 35 are less confident they will have enough money to live comfortably in retirement than their older counterparts and are slightly less likely to have a well-defined strategy for saving for retirement, a recent survey shows.

The survey of more than 2,000 retirement plan participants by the Spectrem Group compared the retirement attitudes, deferral rates, investment decisionmaking and investment choices of those under 35 to that of older workers and also looked at the differences in these areas in terms of gender and income.

On average, younger participants are deferring only 6.3% of their salary into their retirement plans, which is 1.3% lower than older participants. These deferral rates increased as household incomes increased and the average rate is higher for males than females.

They survey found that 45% of younger workers expect to have enough money to live comfortably in retirement, compared to half of older workers and that females under 35 are more optimistic (51%) than males (38%) in that age group about having sufficient retirement savings. The survey also showed that confidence increases as income increases.

There was no significant difference among younger and older workers in terms of having a well-defined investment strategy; however, those with those participants making $50,000 to $100,000 annually are the most likely (53%) to have a well-defined strategy than the other two income brackets. Within the under 35 segment, 71% of males believe their investment choices will produce a good return compared to 62% of females.

Young participants are more likely (46%) than older workers (35%) to take a higher investment risk in order to earn a higher return and younger male workers are more likely (59%) than their female counterparts to absorb a higher risk. Also, those making under $50,000 a year are the most likely (61%) to want a guaranteed return on their retirement plan money, compared to 31% of workers making over $100,000.

Younger participants are more likely to want advice about in choosing their investments (27%) than those over 35 (20%), and those in the $50,000 and under income bracket are the most likely (37%) to want investment advice.

The report is based on a total of 2,009 telephone interviews with participants. Included in this sample are 400 retirement plan participants from a focused survey who answered questions in regards to communication topics. The sample of participants under the age of 35 totaled 285.

More information about ordering the report is here .