Americans are on track to replace about 61 percent of their income in retirement, the Putnam Lifetime Income Score found. Its survey found the people most likely to succeed are doing three things:
- Participating in a workplace plan;
- Saving at least 10 percent of their income; and
- Working with an advisor.
In fact, households deferring at least 10 percent of their income to a retirement savings plan are on track to replace 106 percent of their preretirement income, according to Putnam. Higher income isn’t necessarily a factor in retirement success either; 15 percent of households with income under $50,000 are on track to replace 100 percent of their income.
“As awareness grows among working Americans that a financially successful retirement may require greater savings discipline, we think a solid understanding of the various factors at play could positively raise their chances of replacing current income in retirement,” Edmund Murphy, head of defined contribution for Putnam Investments, said in a statement. “In dissecting the survey’s rich pool of data, one variable rises above all others — the level of individual savings is clearly the key driver of future retirement success.”
Access to a workplace plan had a significant impact on replacement income. Eligible workers are on track to replace 73 percent of their income, compared with 41 percent for workers without access to a plan. Eligible workers who are actually participating could replace 79 percent of their income.
Almost 40 percent of workers with an advisor are on track to replace 100 percent or more of their income, Putnam found. Over all, participants with a financial advisor are on track to replace 80 percent of their income, compared with 56 percent for participants investing on their own.
A separate survey by the Investment Company Institute confirmed that Americans are prioritizing saving. The report found just 2.6 percent of participants in a defined contribution plan stopped making contributions in 2012, down slightly from 2.8 percent in 2011. The number of withdrawals taken last year were also low and remained steady from 2011.
Loan activity was down in 2012, but the report noted that it is still higher than it was four years ago. More than 18 percent of participants had outstanding loans as of December 2012.
Read the report, “Defined Contribution Plan Participants’ Activities, 2012,” here.