Lessons Learned From the 2010 K-12 Retirement Confidence Survey

October 2010
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K-12 employees are more confident than all U.S. workers that they will have a financially comfortable retirement. Greater confidence results, at least in part, from higher participation rates in retirement plans at work; almost 90% of K-12 employees participate in a plan. The defined benefit pension is the dominant form of primary retirement plan sponsored in the K-12 sector; in addition, the availability of supplemental 403(b) plans has become near-universal. Eighty-seven percent of K-12 employees are currently saving for retirement and 57% have tried to determine how much they need to save by the time they retire to fund a comfortable retirement. Given that participation rates across 403(b) plans average 30%, it appears that many school employees are saving outside a tax-qualified vehicle. Over one-half of K-12 employees sought investment advice from a financial advisor within the past year. Confidence in the independence and objectivity of the advice impacted follow-through — 37% of those very confident in the advice generally followed all of it; by comparison, 22% of those somewhat confident regarding the advice followed all of it.