What’s Impacting Retirement Readiness Today

New findings from EBRI’s recently released 2023 Retirement Confidence Survey reveal what’s top of mind for American workers and retirees. Below, we look at two key findings – alongside ways the industry is responding.

1. Confidence and the need for income

Retirement confidence took a scary, double-digit plunge this year, a decline not seen since the 2008 financial crisis.

In a sense, it’s hardly surprising. Our Read on Retirement survey from last year found that pandemic-era hardships knocked 42% of workplace savers off track for retirement. And 2022 was a particularly rough year for the markets. Recordkeeper data suggests retirement plan balances took a 20% to 25% hit.1

Yet, for the most part, participants stayed the course. Contribution rates mostly held steady, with fewer participants taking loans or hardship withdrawals from their 401(k)s.2 To us, this underscores the stickiness of savings habits and the effectiveness of features like auto-enrollment and auto-escalation, which have become defined contribution (DC) plan mainstays.

Still, a deeper dive into the confidence question reveals a different concern. One that has to do with the other side of the retirement equation – not saving, but spending. The survey found that only slightly over half of workers believe they will have enough money to last their entire lives. And just under two-thirds of workers are confident they know how much to withdraw from their retirement savings.

Worker confidence in how much to withdraw in retirement3

Worker confidence in how much to withdraw in retirement