Americans See Favorable Tax Treatment as Best Road to Retirement Funding

Research from HSBC finds that Americans accept personal responsibility for funding their own retirement, but feel the government can help.

According to an HSBC fact sheet, the majority (55%) of U.S. respondents to its global survey say encouraging personal savings through tax relief on savings is the best route to funding retirement for the aging population. That compares to 31% of total respondents.

Seventeen percent of Americans said the government should mandate compulsory pension contributions. Only 12% said the retirement age should be increased to encourage people to work longer, compared to almost a quarter (23%) of total respondents who said so.

Only 14% of U.S. respondents currently feel very well-prepared for retirement; however, 44% said they feel fairly well-prepared for retirement. An alarming 86% of people indicated they do not know what their retirement income will look like.

The feeling of unpreparedness could have something do with the fact that, in spite of enjoying access to online 401(k) planning tools over many years, 48% of U.S. respondents had never accessed any general financial education, and 53% indicated they have never accessed any form of professional financial advice.

To survive the economic downturn, 13% of Americans indicated they are cutting spending, while 12% are focused on reducing debt.

The HSBC research covered 15,000 people in 15 countries and territories around the world. The complete report, as well as fact sheets for each country or territory, is available here.