Most American workers have had to make financial adjustments in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, but the majority managed to keep on track saving for retirement, according to a new report.
Forty-three percent of employees surveyed late last year experienced one or more negative impacts on their employment in the wake of the pandemic, such as reduced hours (cited by 27% of respondents), reduced salaries (14%), furloughs (10%) and early retirement (4%).
The findings are from a Transamerica Institute and the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies report, which surveyed 3,109 employees at for-profit companies.
Around 60% of those employees had to make some sort of change because of the financial stress caused by the pandemic, according to the survey, which was fielded in November and December last year.
The changes included cutting day-to-day expenses (cited by 32% of the respondents), dipping into savings accounts (17%), borrowing money (13%) and stopping rent or mortgage payments (7%), according to Transamerica Institute.
But Transamerica Institute says the survey also shows that only 14% of the respondents reduced or stopped contributions to their retirement accounts.
Overall, 82% of the respondents said they are saving for retirement through employer-sponsored plans, such as a 401(k) or similar plan, or outside the workplace.
And the age when Americans began saving for retirement keeps dropping: the median age for baby boomers when they started saving was 35; for Generation X it’s 30, for millennials it’s 25, and for Generation Z it’s just 19, Transamerica Institute says.
Financial advisors, however, may need to step in.
American employees only have a median of $5,000 in emergency savings, while the estimated median of total household retirement savings is $93,000, according to the survey findings.
Moreover, 34% of workers have taken a loan, early withdrawal or hardship withdrawal from their 401(k)s or similar plans or individual retirement accounts, the survey shows. The figure rises to 44% among millennials, according to the survey.
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