How much does an average American worker save for pension?
March 11th, 2024, Kineree Shah

How much does an average American worker save for pension?

In a recent survey of 1,003 US working adults, we explored their understanding of pension plans, saving habits towards retirement and their sources of information were uncovered.

Overall, nearly seven in 10 American workers say they understand the concept and benefits of pension plans well (72%). By working adults, we mean Americans who have either full-time or part-time jobs. This confidence grows with age, with 64% of those aged 18-34 feeling well-informed, compared to 70% in the 35-54 age group, and 80% among those 55 and older. Gender differences are also notable, with 82% of males expressing a good understanding, in contrast to 63% of females.

However, a substantial portion of the population still feels in the dark about pension plans. More than a quarter of Americans admit to not understanding pension plans well (28%), with younger adults and females feeling particularly less confident.

The survey also delved into how much of their current income Americans are saving each month for their pension. The findings reveal a cautious approach to savings, with a third of Americans saving less than 10% of their income towards retirement (34%). This includes 16% saving less than 5% and 19% saving between 5-10%. Some 35% of adults do not save any of their current income for retirement.

Males appear more inclined to allocate a larger portion of their income to pension savings, with half saving less than 15% in comparison to a third of females (50% males vs. 36% females). 

As adults age, their savings do not necessarily increase significantly. Among 18-34 aged adults, 54% save less than 15% whereas 50% adults between 35-54 age group save the same percentage. 

When it comes to sources of information on pension plans and retirement savings, Employer-provided materials emerge as the most common source, cited by nearly a quarter of Americans (23%). This is followed by friends or family (14%), and financial advisors or wealth managers (14%).

Males are more likely to refer to employer materials, while females show a slightly higher tendency to rely on friends or family. 

Make smarter business decisions with better intelligence. Understand exactly what your audience is thinking by leveraging our panel of 20 million+ members.

Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. This study was conducted online on 27-18 February 2024, with a nationally representative sample of 1,003 adults (aged 18+ years) in the US, using a questionnaire designed by YouGov. Data figures have been weighted by age, race, gender, education, and region to be representative of all adults in the US (18 years or older), and reflect the latest population estimates from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.