Research & Publications
EBRI Research and Surveys on Savings

This page lists the three most recent items in each category with a link to past research in each category. These files are in pdf format and require Adobe Reader for viewing and printing.

Issue Briefs -- Updated June 11, 2013

May 2013 - "Individual Retirement Account Balances, Contributions, and Rollovers, 2011: The EBRI IRA Database"

March 2013 - "EBRI's 2013 Retirement Confidence Survey: Perceived Savings Needs Outpace Reality for Many"

February 2013 - "Income Composition, Income Trends, and Income Shortfalls of Older Households"

Past EBRI Issue Briefs on retirement and savings

EBRI Notes -- Updated June 11, 2013

May 2013 - "IRA Withdrawals: How Much, When, and Other Saving Behavior"

March 2013 - "A Little Help: The Impact of On-line Calculators and Financial Advisors on Setting Adequate Retirement-Savings Targets: Evidence from the 2013 Retirement Confidence Survey"

February 2013 - "Debt of the Elderly and Near Elderly, 1992-2010"

Past EBRI Notes articles on retirement and savings

Fast Facts from EBRI -- Updated June 11, 2013

February 7, 2012 - "Younger 401(k) Participants Turning to Target-Date Funds"

February 2, 2012 - "Those in Consumer-Driven Health Plans More Likely to Use Wellness Programs"

January 31, 2012 - "Patients in Consumer-Driven Health Plans Show More Cost-Counscious Behavior"

Past Fast Facts from EBRI on retirement and savings

EBRI Surveys -- Updated June 11, 2013

Retirement Confidence Survey

Americans' confidence in their ability to afford a comfortable retirement remains low - which may reflect a growing awareness of the savings realities ahead, according to the 23rd annual Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS), the longest-running survey of its kind. The percentage of workers confident about having enough money for a comfortable retirement is essentially unchanged from the record lows observed in 2011. Retiree confidence in having a financially secure retirement is also unchanged, with the 18 percent very confident (statistically equivalent to the 21 percent measured in 2012) a record low reading for that group, while 14 percent are not at all confident (statistically equivalent to 19 percent in 2011). One reason that retirement confidence has remained low despite a brightening economic outlook is that some workers may be waking up to just how much they may need to save.

Additional information can be found by clicking here.

Health Confidence Survey

When asked to rate the health care system, Americans offer a diverse perspective: A quarter describe it as poor (26 percent); another quarter (28 percent) describe it as fair; 28 percent consider it good; while 12 percent rate it as very good or excellent (5 percent). The 2012 Health Confidence Survey (HCS) finds that the percentage of Americans rating the health care system as poor doubled between 1998 and 2004 (rising from 15 percent to 30 percent), although that percentage appears to have recently dropped slightly. Confidence about the health care system decreases as Americans look to the future.

Additional information can be found by clicking here.

In 2008 and 2009, the HCS asked a series of questions regarding support or opposition for various broad concepts pertaining to the health-reform debate. At the time, Americans were generally supportive of health-insurance-market reforms. Indeed, despite the fight over the constitutionality of PPACA over the past two years, and the fact that between 40 percent and 50 percent of Americans view the law unfavorably, 1 Americans continue to highly support some aspects of the law today about as much as they did in 2008 and 2009, before the law was passed.

Past EBRI Surveys on retirement and savings

Databook -- see chapter for when last updated.

Chapter 6 -- Income Statistics of the Population Ages 55 and Over - Data is presented here on the following: percentage of the older population in poverty; real median income of the older population by gender; median and mean income of the population by education, marital status and race; real median income by age and source of income; comparison of the measurement of retirement income between the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic (March) Supplement and the National Income and Product Accounts of the United States. The end of the chapter contains a reference section to other EBRI research on income statistics of the population ages 55 and over in a question and answer format.

Chapter 7 -- Sources of Income for Persons Ages 55 and Over - Data is presented here on the following: percentage distribution of population and income by detailed income source, mean income, and median income; aged income from private sector and public sector defined benefit plans; private sector and public sector defined benefit plans by age of recipient; median income from major sources, married couples and unmarried individuals aged 65 and over; percentage of individuals aged 55 and over with income from specified sources and percentage distribution of income from all sources by age; percentage of individuals aged 65 and over with income from specified sources and percentage distribution of income from all sources by income quintile. The end of the chapter contains a reference section to other EBRI research on sources of income for persons ages 55 and over in a question and answer format.

Chapter 8 -- Retirement Annuity and Employment-Based Pension Income - Data is presented here on the following: percentage receiving, median, and mean amount of retirement annuity and/or employment-based pension income recipiency. The data is presented for the following demographics: age, sex, industry, education, marital status, and income quintile. The end of the chapter contains a reference section to other EBRI research on retirement annuity and employment-based pension income in a question and answer format.

Chapter 9 -- U.S. Savings Rates - Data is presented on two government measurements of the personal savings rate in the United States, the National Income and Product Accounts of the United State and the Flow of Funds Accounts of the United States. The end of the chapter contains a reference section to other EBRI research on personal savings in a question and answer format.

Chapter 10 -- Aggregate Trends in Defined Benefit and Defined Contribution Retirement Plan Sponsorship, Participation, and Vesting - Data in this chapter is drawn from four sources: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Compensation Survey; U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefit Security Administration, Tabulations off the Form 5500; U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Current Population Survey, Employee Benefit Supplement and Survey of Income and Program Participation ; U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic (or March) Supplement. The end of the chapter contains a reference section to other EBRI research on personal savings in a question and answer format.

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