American Views on Defined Contribution Plan Saving

With millions of US households personally directing their retirement savings, the Investment Company Institute (ICI) has sought to track retirement savers’ actions and sentiment. The attached report, the 13th in this series, summarizes results from a nationally representative survey of Americans aged 18 or older. The survey was designed by ICI research staff and administered by NORC at the University of Chicago using the AmeriSpeak® probability-based panel. This report presents survey results that reflect individuals’ responses collected during November and December 2020.

The survey polled respondents about their views on defined contribution (DC) retirement account saving and their confidence in 401(k) and other DC plan accounts.

Survey responses indicated that Americans value the discipline and investment opportunity that 401(k) plans represent and that individuals were largely opposed to changing the tax preferences or investment control in those accounts. A majority of respondents also affirmed a preference for control of their retirement accounts and opposed proposals to require a portion of retirement accounts to be converted into a fair contract promising them income for life from either the government or an insurance company.

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By Jeff Atwell, AIF, C(k)P, CPFA , Principal, TRG Fiduciary Services, LLC


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