Public Employees in Focus: ING studies the economic outlook of today’s government workforce

Source: ING Institute for Retirement Research, 2010

From the press release:
ING’s research offers a unique look at a slice of the workforce that has never been studied at length before for specific insights into its financial behaviors and retirement perspectives. Other key findings and areas of focus from this study include the following:

Investment Preferences: The study found that government employees, on the whole, appear to be a conservative group. An overwhelming majority (74%) considered themselves risk-averse in their personal lives. This carried over to their investment philosophy, where half (50%) said they were financially conservative, preferring to protect their savings rather than assume the greater risk that comes with potentially higher investment growth.

Pension Expectations: Most respondents (71%) expected to receive a traditional defined benefit pension from their employer, and those eligible for this benefit believed it would make up more than half (54%) of their retirement income. However, despite their reliance on an expected pension income, about half (49%) were worried the amount could change during retirement. More than a third (35%) didn’t know how their benefit would be determined.

Retirement Preparedness / Plan Participation: Roughly two-thirds (64%) reported having access to a voluntary retirement plan at the workplace (typically a 457 deferred compensation program). Of this group, nearly three-quarters (74%) said they were actively making contributions to these plans. However, their balances did not represent substantial sums–half (50%) had less than $50,000 in their accounts. Another one-in-five (20%) didn’t know what their balance was.
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