ARE 401(k) PLANS ENOUGH FOR RETIREMENT?
For many, a recent study suggests, maybe not.
“Defined contribution plans may not be enough for American retirement investors, according to a new survey,” writes Christopher Robbins in a fa-mag.com piece. “Investopedia released research suggesting that 401(k) and 403(b) plans, the most popular retirement savings accounts for U.S. workers, are not sufficient to prepare Americans for the costs of retirement.” Robbins continues:
“Fifty-two percent of the survey’s 700 respondents felt they were behind on their target savings. Of that group, 78 percent were participating in a 401(k) or 403(b) plan, according to the study.
“Apparently, participation in a defined contribution plan is not tied to retirement confidence, according to the study. The survey’s respondents all participated in their employer’s retirement plans at similar rate, regardless of their retirement confidence, Investopedia said. About 80 percent of investors participate in a retirement plan.
“Only 18 percent of plan participants, and 25 percent of the respondents overall, said they receive professional advice. Respondents were more likely to receive financial education from personal finance websites, friends and family, media hosts and financial writers or financial magazines.
“The study cited a relationship between financial knowledge and a respondent’s confidence in their retirement savings plan. While 58 percent of those who call themselves novice investors said that they felt like they were behind on their savings, investors who considered themselves experts were much more likely to be ahead of their goals.
“Only 10 percent of the respondents felt like they were ahead of their retirement savings goals, with contributions to an individual retirement account the biggest differentiator between those who felt like they were ahead and those who believed they had fallen behind. While 82 percent of those who felt ahead on their savings contributed to an IRA, only 33 percent of those who felt behind did the same.
“The survey respondents consisted of employed investors over age 18 who have input into household investment decisions. The survey was conducted in January.”