Most Americans Now Anticipating Insufficient Retirement Income

A recent Gallup poll shows that, for the first time this decade, a majority (52%) of non-retired Americans say they will not have enough money to live comfortably in retirement.

In a release of the results, Gallup said this is probably true because the perception of reliance on defined contribution and defined benefit retirement plan assets in retirement has decreased and has not been replaced by another source of retirement income. Only 42% of respondents said they expect to rely on a 401(k), IRA, Keogh, or other retirement plan account when they retire, compared with 54% of Americans who said so just one year ago.

Less than one-quarter (24%) of those surveyed said they expect to rely on a work-sponsored pension plan for retirement income. Yet, still only 30% cited Social Security as a primary source of income in retirement.

The sources of income that more respondents than last year indicated they would rely on in retirement were personal savings (20% vs. 17% last year) and part-time work (22% vs. 20%).

Gallup noted that expected reliance on 401(k) and other retirement savings plans remains at the top of the list when Americans are asked how much of a source each of the 10 different income streams will be in their retirement years, signaling that expected comfort in retirement could increase if the stock market continues to pull out of its current slump.

Results are based on telephone interviews with 676 non-retirees, aged 18 and older, conducted April 6-9, 2009. The full Gallup results are available here.