Survey Finds Americans Wishing for Traditional Retirement System

In a new survey, Ipsos found half of respondents wish they had a pension.

So, when asked about the potential for a fixed-rate annuity inside of 401(k)s that could be contributed to over time, that was portable from one plan to another if you left your job, that would provide a guaranteed lifetime income, and that would pay a lump sum to beneficiaries upon death if the account balance exceeded the amount already paid out, overall, three quarters (74%) said they would like having this option available, including 83% of those 25-34. More than half of all respondents (55%) said that having this 401(k) annuity option would be like contributing to a pension.  

According to an Ipsos press release, among those that do not currently have a 401(k), four out of ten (38%) said they would be more likely to participate if this annuity option was available. Eight in ten (77%) of those likely to participate in a 401(k), if available, said that they would allocate a portion of their regular contribution to the annuity product, and 81% said they would be likely to ask their employer to allocate the match to the annuity.   

More than half (54%) said they would have a more favorable opinion of their employer if the company offered the option to contribute the match to the annuity.  

Seventy-one percent of respondents said they are personally in control of their finances and make financial decisions themselves, but half of those who are not yet retired (48%) believe they will not have enough money to maintain their current lifestyle in retirement, and half of those already retired (53%) are concerned about their current financial situation.  

Given that half of those with 401(k)s have balances of less than $5,000, Ipsos said it should come as no surprise that seven out of ten adults not yet retired (69%) say they have a lot more to do financially before they are ready to retire. Four out of ten (38%) currently believe that they will outlive their retirement savings.  

The Ipsos poll was conducted April 21 to May 4, 2010, among a national sample of 1,082 adults age 25 and older from Ipsos’ U.S. online panel.