Market Rebounds, But Retirement Confidence Doesn’t


The economic recovery and the stock market’s climb don’t appear to be instilling confidence that workers are better prepared for retirement.

About half of workers have little or no confidence that they’ll have a financially comfortable retirement. That’s according to findings from a survey released Tuesday by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

The nonprofit organization says its 23rd annual survey found that retirement confidence levels remain at the record lows set last year, despite the improvement in the economy and the stock market.

Twenty-eight percent of the survey participants questioned in January were not at all confident that they’d be able to afford a comfortable retirement. Another 21 percent were not too confident. About 13 percent were very confident, and 38 percent somewhat confident.

Here’s a look at some of the findings from the 23rd annual survey released Tuesday:

Respondents who are very confident about having enough money for a comfortable retirement: 13 percent

  • Somewhat confident: 38 percent
  • Not too confident: 21 percent
  • Not at all confident: 28 percent

Percentage of workers identifying the following issues as the most pressing concerns that most Americans face, followed by the percentage of retirees identifying that issue:

  • Job uncertainty: 30 percent, 27 percent
  • Making ends meet: 12 percent for both groups
  • The budget deficit and government spending: eight percent, 14 percent
  • Paying for health insurance and medical expenses: nine percent, 10 percent
  • The economy: eight percent, six percent
  • Taxes: eight percent, five percent
  • Making mortgage payments: eight percent, four percent
  • Saving for retirement: two percent, four percent

Percentage of workers reporting that they could definitely come up with $2,000 if an unexpected need arose within the next month, followed by the percentage of retirees:

  • 50 percent, 52 percent

Percentage who could probably come up with $2,000:

  • 20 percent, 17 percent

Percentage who could probably or definitely not come up with $2,000:

  • 28 percent for each group

Methodology: 1,003 workers aged 25 and older and 251 retirees who were randomly interviewed by telephone in January. The statistical margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points.