Participants Need More Than Savings Plan for Retirement Success

Workers surveyed said help with student loan debt and more financial education would help them achieve their financial goals.

More than three-fourths (78%) of American workers say retirement security will be more challenging for younger generations—more so than any other financial achievement, according to the American Workers Survey, commissioned by Prudential and conducted by Morning Consult in February.

But survey results suggest it is not just having a retirement savings plan that is important. American workers say making higher education more affordable (87%) and increasing access to retirement plans (86%) are important priorities for the government in the next year. The cost of higher education was cited as the biggest barrier (59%) to progress for young adults (ages 18 to 22).

Even when asked about the biggest barriers to financial progress faced by their own generation, the top answer for Millennials (46%) was the cost of higher education, while 42% of Generation X cited the same thing. More than one-third (36%) of Baby Boomers cited credit card debt.

Eighty-seven percent of respondents say it would be helpful for employers to provide access to financial products (including retirement savings plans) that help workers grow and build wealth. Other offerings they say would be helpful for their success include:

When American workers were asked how helpful further education would be to achieve their goals, a large majority expressed the need for additional financial education—specifically, in the following areas:

  • Retirement savings/retirement planning (86%);
  • Establishing emergency savings (83%);
  • Creating/managing a budget (78%); and
  • Identity protection (78%).
In addition, American workers were asked what they would do if given a cash windfall of $100, $1,000, $5,000, $10,000, $25,000 and $50,000. The “inflection point,” where American workers shift to saving/investing, occurs between $1,000 and $5,000. This personal financial behavior is consistent across nearly all demographics.