Americans who owned stocks in 2013 are feeling better about their retirement prospects than they did just a few years ago. For everyone else, not so much.
The longest-running survey of American retirement sentiment shows confidence rose in 2013, the first increase since sentiment plunged following the Great Recession of 2008-2009. But the 2014 Retirement Confidence Survey, released on Tuesday by the nonprofit Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), shows that the optimism is due almost entirely to the stock market’s bull run over the past two years. What’s more, the rising confidence is concentrated among wealthier savers, who have the most significant equity accumulations.
Despite the increased optimism, this year’s survey, EBRI’s 24th, continues to reflect the historic drop in confidence since the economy crashed.
The percentage of workers confident of having sufficient money for retirement rose from record post-crash lows. Eighteen percent were “very” confident, up five percentage points from 2009, though still well below the historic high of 27 percent in 2007. Thirty-seven percent are “somewhat confident.” But 24 percent of workers said they were “not at all confident,” still much higher than the 10 percent no-confidence reading of 2007.