5500 Preparer's Manual for 2012 Plan Years
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Employees are adjusting their expectations of retirement, with a majority intending to work past age 65, according to the 13th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey released by the non-profit Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies. The survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies between January 13-31, 2012 among a nationally representative sample of 3,609 full-time and part-time employees.
According to the survey, a majority of workers (56%) plan to work past age 65 and a slightly smaller majority (54%) plan to continue working after they retire. Fewer than four in ten (39%) believe they are building a sufficient nest egg, the survey found.
More than half (57%) of the employees surveyed have a retirement strategy, including 12% who have a written plan and 45% who have a plan that is not written.
Of those with any form of strategy, only 15% have factored in contingency plans for retiring sooner than expected and/or savings shortfalls, the survey found. Many still leave their future retirement up to guesswork. When asked how they estimated their savings needs for retirement, 47% admitted to guessing.
A large majority (84%) prefers a "do-it-yourself" decisionmaking style regarding saving and investing for retirement, including nearly half (49%) of workers who seek advice but make their own final decisions and 35% who do their own research and make their own decisions. Despite these decisionmaking styles, most workers (70%) agree that they do not know as much as they should about retirement investing.
Role of the family
More than one-third (34%) of survey respondents cited "friends and family" as a source of information about retirement. Nearly one in three (29%) expect to financially support family members other than spouses or partners, after they retire, while 13% expect to receive financial support from family in retirement. In contrast, only 10% discuss retirement planning frequently with family and friends and more than one-quarter (27%) never discuss retirement at all.
The survey found that 44% of employees expect to rely on savings from 401(k) or similar retirement plans as their primary source of income when they retire. An overwhelming 90% of respondents cited an employee self-funded plan as important, and more than half (53%) of respondents would be likely to leave their current employer for a nearly identical job with a similar employer for better retirement benefits.
A majority of employees surveyed (62%) desire information and guidance about retirement planning from their company. When asked what could motivate them to learn more about saving for retirement, most respondents (52%) cited a good starting point or educational materials that are "easier to understand."
Source: Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, news release, May 16, 2012.
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