Principal Survey Finds Concern about the Future

Almost three-quarters of employees (71%) and half of retirees (50%) said they were very concerned about their long-term financial future, according to the latest Principal Financial Well-Being Index.

A news release from the Principal Financial Group about its quarterly survey said it also found that 90% of employees and 87% of retirees believe there should not be a mandatory retirement age.

“When it comes to the ideal retirement age, workers and retirees are in agreement on one thing: it’s a personal decision and not something that government should mandate,” said Dan Houston, executive vice president, Retirement and Investor Services, The Principal, in the news release. “For many, it’s an economic decision to keep working, in order to pay mounting health care bills, keep up with inflation or just to cover the basic necessities. For others, it is simply a desire to stay active, engaged and make a contribution.”

Not all retirees are taking advantage of their extra leisure time, the poll found. A quarter of retirees (26%) indicated they were almost always, often or sometimes bored in retirement. “It is no wonder that many work well beyond their 50s and 60s to pay for their basic necessities and maintain their current financial well being, or just to stay engaged,” Houston asserted.

Meanwhile, focusing on current workplace issues, when asked what employers could do to help them get more out of work, workers still value a pay increase over anything else. Nearly three-quarters of workers (73%) indicated that their employers could provide better pay for performance and almost half (47%) indicated employers could provide better workplace benefits.

Other results included:

  • About three in five (61%) workers indicated they were either satisfied or very satisfied with their employers, while 20% indicated they were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied.

  • When workers were asked how the length of their work week compares with a year ago, nearly three out of ten employees (29%) admitted to working more this year.

  • When asked why they work, respondents said to pay bills (89%), followed by needing benefits (such as health insurance and retirement) (64%) and to saving for the future (51%).

The survey was conducted online within the United States between October 23 to November 1, 2006 among 1,197 employees (ages 18+) and 630 retirees of small- and mid-sized US businesses (10 – 1,000 employees).