2016 Retirement Confidence Survey of the State and Local Government Workforce

Source: Paul J. Yakoboski, Joshua M. Franzel, Center for State and Local Government Excellence, December 2016

From the summary:
This report examines the employment and retirement planning and saving experiences of state and local government workers, as well as confidence in their retirement income prospects.

Key findings:
The findings include:
• One-third of public sector employees have been with their current employer for less than 10 years, and one-third for 20 years or longer. Approximately two-thirds do not expect to leave their current employer anytime soon.
• Health insurance, retirement benefits, job security and salary are the most important job elements they would consider in deciding whether to switch employers.
• The vast majority are covered by a primary defined benefit pension plan; almost 20 percent of these workers reported changes to these benefits over the past two years.
• Two-thirds expect to receive retiree healthcare benefits from an employer when they retire; among these, one-quarter reported changes to their benefits over the past two years.
• The typical state and local employee would like to retire at age 62, but expects to retire at 65.
• Most public servants do not know how much they need to save for a comfortable retirement, nor have they planned and saved specifically for medical expenses in retirement.
• Forty-four percent are very confident that they will receive all of the retirement plan benefits they have earned and 44% are somewhat confident. The analogous figures for retiree healthcare benefits are 30% and 54%, respectively. Their confidence in future Social Security and Medicare benefits is lower.
• About 20 percent are very confident that they are saving and investing appropriately for retirement, with approximately 55 percent somewhat confident in their savings and investing.