MassMutual Retirement Savers Survey – April 2017

    MassMutual Retirement Savers Survey – April 2017

    Overview & Key Findings

    PSB conducted the retirement plans research on behalf of MassMutual as part of an online omnibus survey among n=1002 fielded April 3-10, 2017. The research targeted the general population of the United States of America as reflected in the most recent U.S. Census for gender, age, education, ethnicity and region. The results shown here reflect the n = 450 Americans who reported that they currently have a 401(k) plan and/or other retirement investments.  See page 6 for the complete demographic breakdown.

    Key Findings

    Key findings amongst those saving for retirement include, based on the general population, gender and age, are as follows:

    • Nearly one-third (31 percent) don’t view the recent stock market activity since the November presidential election as anything unusual and 28 percent believe the surge in the market will correct in the short- to mid-term
      • Only 7 percent don’t know their view on the recent activity in the stock market
    • While the majority (60 percent) say they are not making any changes in their 401(k) or other retirement investments due to recent stock market activity:
      • 13 percent plan to move more of their retirement savings into stocks/equities to potentially benefit from future growth
      • 15 percent plan to move more of their retirement savings into fixed-income investments
      • One in 10 (13 percent) are unsure what to do
    • The top two ways Americans are managing their 401(k) and/or other retirement investments are:
      • Relying on a financial advisor to guide them in deciding what to invest in and how much to allocate to certain investments (32 percent)
      • Managing their own retirement investments and allocating their money between assets as they see fit (28 percent)
      • Only 6 percent seek guidance about their retirement investments from friends, family members or colleagues
    • Respondents are divided on what retirement strategy most appeals to them. The top responses were:
      • A mix of actively and passively managed mutual investments (22 percent)
      • Employer resources (12 percent)
      • Online tool (11 percent)
      • 22 percent are uncertain about how best to invest their retirement money

         

        The following pages provide an overview of the national results and differences in demographic cuts.

        Results & Overview of Demographic Breakdowns

        Question 1

        How do you view the recent activity in the stock market since the November presidential election?

        Nat.

        Age

        Gender

        18-34

        35-49

        50-64

        65+

        Male

        Female

        The market has staying power and will likely continue to rise in the long term

        19%

        24%

        20%

        11%

        25%

        23%

        16%

        The surge in the market will likely correct in the short- to mid-term

        28%

        24%

        31%

        31%

        24%

        32%

        24%

        Markets go up and down. I don’t view the recent market activity as anything unusual

        31%

        30%

        26%

        34%

        36%

        31%

        32%

        I don’t pay attention to the stock market

        14%

        12%

        14%

        18%

        11%

        8%

        20%

        I don’t know

        7%

        10%

        9%

        6%

        5%

        7%

        8%


        Key Findings

    • Age
      • Respondents aged 50 – 64 are least optimistic about the market’s staying power, while millennials (18 – 34) and those aged 65+ are most optimistic
      • 18 percent of 50 – 64 year-olds don’t pay attention to the stock market, which is substantially higher than other age groups
    • Gender
      • Men are more likely than their female counterparts to say the stock market  will correct in the short- to mid-term or don’t view the recent activity as anything unusual (63 percent of men vs. 56 percent of women)
      • Women are more than twice as likely to say they don’t pay attention to the stock market compared to men

         

        Question 2

        Are you making any changes to your 401(k) plan or other retirement investments due to recent stock market activity?

        Nat.

        Age

        Gender

        18-34

        35-49

        50-64

        65+

        Male

        Female

        I am moving more of my retirement savings into stocks/equities to potentially benefit from future growth

        13%

        32%

        11%

        6%

        3%

        14%

        12%

        I am moving more of my retirement savings into fixed-income investments such as bonds or money market accounts in case of a correction

        15%

        25%

        14%

        11%

        10%

        16%

        13%

        I’m not making any changes to my retirement savings strategy

        60%

        23%

        59%

        74%

        82%

        56%

        63%

        I am uncertain about what to do

        13%

        21%

        16%

        9%

        5%

        14%

        11%


        Key Findings

    • Age
      • Results suggest that 57 percent of millennials are making changes to their retirement investments due to recent market activity. Of those, 32 percent are looking to benefit from future growth
      • A majority of all generations, except for millennials, are planning to keep their retirement savings strategy the same:
        • 25 percent of those aged 35 – 49 indicated a desire to make changes
        • 17 percent of those aged 50 – 64 indicated a desire to make changes
        • 13 percent of those aged 65+ indicated a desire to make changes
    • Gender
      • Female respondents are less likely to indicate that they planned to make a change to their retirement investments due to recent market activity than male respondent (25 percent of woman vs. 30 percent of men)

     

    Question 3

    How do you primarily manage your 401(k) and/or other retirement investments?

    Nat.

    Age

    Gender

    18-34

    35-49

    50-64

    65+

    Male

    Female

    I manage my own retirement investments, allocating my money between assets as I see fit

    28%

    26%

    28%

    33%

    22%

    35%

    21%

    I rely on a financial advisor to guide me in deciding what to invest in and how much to allocate to certain investments

    32%

    8%

    29%

    34%

    62%

    29%

    36%

    I seek guidance about my retirement investments from friends, family members or colleagues

    6%

    9%

    8%

    5%

    3%

    4%

    8%

    My investment strategy automatically allocates my investments based on my age, investment risk or other factors

    13%

    19%

    13%

    12%

    9%

    13%

    13%

    I rely on my employer’s education program and resources to guide how to invest and allocate my retirement investments

    10%

    17%

    10%

    9%

    3%

    7%

    13%

    I am uncertain about how best to invest my retirement money

    10%

    20%

    12%

    8%

    1%

    13%

    8%

    Key Findings

    • Age
      • Approximately 20 percent of millennials are uncertain about how to invest their retirement money – twice the national average and higher than their older peers
      • Only 8 percent of millennials have a financial advisor, with many of them relying on automatic investment strategies (19 percent) or employer guidance (17 percent) to help them allocate investments
      • 62 percent of those aged 65+ rely on financial advisors to help them allocate their investments – significantly higher than any other age group surveyed
    • Gender
      • Women are more likely to rely on financial advisors to guide me in deciding what to invest in and how much to allocate to certain investments (36 percent vs. 29 percent), while male respondents are more likely to manage their own retirement investments (35 percent vs. 21 percent)

         

        Question 4

        Please choose the retirement investment strategy that most appeals to you:

        Nat.

        Age

        Gender

        18-34

        35-49

        50-64

        65+

        Male

        Female

        Actively Managed Mutual Investments: A professional money manager picks stocks and bonds with the objective of outperforming the markets

        8%

        9%

        7%

        8%

        10%

        7%

        9%

        Passively Managed Mutual Investments: A professional money manager choses investments that track an investment index such as the S&P 500 or Dow Jones Industrials and offer the lowest possible cost

        10%

        14%

        5%

        9%

        15%

        13%

        8%

        A Mix of Actively and Passively Managed Mutual Investments: A professional money manager both actively and passively manages mutual funds to provide the widest choice of investments possible, balancing low cost and professional money management

        22%

        15%

        21%

        22%

        30%

        20%

        23%

        Target Date Automatically Allocated Investments: A professional money manager manages target date funds that automatically allocate my investments between stocks, bonds and cash based on my age or desired retirement date

        6%

        2%

        9%

        8%

        4%

        6%

        5%

        Customized Automatically Allocated Investments: A professional money manager allocates my investments between stocks, bonds and cash based on customized factors such as my risk tolerance, age, outside assets and desired retirement date, for an additional fee

        9%

        9%

        11%

        8%

        10%

        7%

        12%

        Online Tool: I use an online tool that helps me allocate my investments between stocks, bonds and cash based on my risk tolerance, time horizon and other appropriate factors

        11%

        13%

        14%

        14%

        1%

        13%

        9%

        Employer Resources: I rely on my employer’s education program and resources to guide me on how to invest and allocate my retirement investments

        12%

        22%

        15%

        7%

        3%

        10%

        13%

        I am uncertain about how best to invest my retirement money

        22%

        16%

        19%

        25%

        27%

        23%

        20%


        Key Findings

    • Age
      • While 22 percent of respondents prefer a mix of actively and passively managed mutual investments, millennials find employer resources to be the most appealing (22 percent vs. 12 percent nationwide)
      • Very few (1 percent) respondents aged 65+ use an online tool to allocate investments – significantly less than their younger counterparts
    • Gender
      • Male and female respondents agree that a mix of actively and passively managed mutual fund investments is an appealing retirement investment strategy (20 percent of men vs. 23 percent of women).
      • Other strategies include:
        • Employer resources ( 10 percent of men vs. 13 percent of women)
        • Passively managed mutual investments (13 percent of men vs. 8 percent of women)
        • Online tools (13 percent of men vs. 9 percent of women)

    Sample Sizes

    The research polled those with a 401(k) plan and/or other retirement investments, including key demographic groups.  The findings based on ethnicity were not reported because the number of responses from some ethnic groups was too low to be statistically relevant. The breakdown of respondents is as follows:

     

    National

    450

    18-34

    71

    35-49

    123

    50-64

    150

    65+

    106

    Male

    212

    Female

    238

    White

    342

    Black

    40

    Asian

    23

    Hispanic

    33

    About MassMutual

    MassMutual is a leading mutual life insurance company that is run for the benefit of its members and participating policyowners. MassMutual offers a wide range of financial products and services, including life insurance, disability income insurance, long term care insurance, annuities, retirement plans and other employee benefits. For more information, visit www.massmutual.com.

    MassMutual is a marketing name for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company.

    Close