Federal Employees Save More than General Population

Federal employees are outpacing the general population in putting dollars toward retirement and long-term debt, according to the First Command Financial Behaviors Index.

Results of the Index’s semiannual federal employee survey indicated that the average monthly amount federal employees put into their retirement accounts during the first quarter totaled $1,221, about 40% more than the rank and file of average Americans. The average long-term debt payments by federal employees totaled $1,217, 14% more than the general population. 

According to a release of the survey results, the dollars allocated to long-term debt in the first quarter also helped federal employees outpace the general population in overall debt payments ($2,132 versus $2,033). However, federal employees trailed average Americans in overall savings activity. Average monthly payments for short-term and long-term savings and retirement accounts totaled $2,006 for federal employees, compared to $2,292 for the general population. 

The survey found that federal employees with a financial plan put a higher amount, on average, into savings and investment accounts than those without a plan. During the first quarter, overall savings for those with a financial plan totaled $2,542, compared to $1,781 for those without.  

In addition, federal employees with a financial plan have greater feelings of comfort with savings than those without a plan. In the first quarter, 20% of federal employees with a financial plan felt extremely or very comfortable with their current savings, compared to only 11% of federal employees without a plan. 

A similar disparity exists with respect to comfort with current debt levels—37% versus 26%.

The First Command Financial Behaviors Index assesses trends among the American public’s financial behaviors, attitudes, and intentions through a monthly survey of approximately 1,000 U.S. consumers ages 25 to 70 with annual household incomes of at least $50,000. 

More information is available at www.firstcommand.com/research.