Millennials and retirement preparednessNews added by Benefits Pro on February 23, 2016

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By Marlene Y. Satter

Millennials’ differences could compel changes in the retirement industry, especially when it comes to state-sponsored plans.

According to a study from Young Invincibles, an organization that represents “the interests of 18–34-year-olds” (millennials) on such topics as jobs, health care, and higher education, the retirement picture for that generation is threatened by several factors — some stemming from their own behavior and others from employer action or the lack thereof.

Less than half of low-income millennials, for instance, have access to an employer-sponsored retirement account — although more than three out of four millennials who have access to retirement plans take advantage of them.

Among millennials who don’t have access to an employer-sponsored plan, just 43 percent are making consistent personal contributions toward retirement.

That could be because, according to the study, changing workplace dynamics mean that millennials “tend to work in industries that offer lower wages and fewer benefits.”

Millennial voters also overwhelmingly support the notion of a state-sponsored retirement plan for small business owners, regardless of political affiliation: 85 percent of respondents said they’d support a state-facilitated retirement plan that “would provide a voluntary option for workers without a way to save for retirement at work.”

While, predictably, Democrats were more in favor of such a plan, at 89 percent, Republicans, at 79 percent, weren’t so very far behind them. In addition, 85 percent of independents favored it.

Politics aside and ideology considered, 83 percent of conservatives, 85 percent of moderates and 88 percent of liberals favored it.

Millennials will make up a majority of the workforce by 2020, according to the study.

They’re also geared toward saving, when it’s possible: 54 percent of those who save regularly set aside between 6 and 10 percent of their monthly income (for all types of savings: retirement, emergencies and other savings options).

Thirteen percent of those regular savers stash 11 percent or more. In addition, 41 percent said that if they got a 10 percent increase in income they’d put it toward some form of savings rather than spending it.

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