Nonprofit Employees Lack Confidence in Retirement Planning, Study Finds

According to a recently released study by the TIAA-CREF Institute and Independent Sector, about 45 percent of all employees in the nonprofit sector are not confident with their ability to prepare financially for retirement. The findings underscore the need for the nonprofit and philanthropic sector to address their employees’ long-term financial security, create more opportunities for advancement within the sector, and look for national, cross-sector solutions.

The Financial Security and Careers in the Nonprofit and Philanthropic Sector survey polled 1,000 full-time employees (age 21 and older) in the nonprofit and philanthropic sector on their motivations and satisfaction in the workplace, including their plans, preparation and readiness for retirement.

According to the survey, while about 59 percent of sector employees are very or extremely satisfied with their current employment, nearly one-half of employees have considered leaving the sector to receive greater compensation elsewhere.

Career advancement is another concern among nonprofit and philanthropic employees. More than 90 percent of sector employees say personal satisfaction with their organization’s mission is a central driver for their career decisions, but only 30 percent are very or extremely satisfied with career advancement opportunities.

Additional survey findings include:

Salary considerations

  • Forty-two percent of employees feel they are not accumulating sufficient financial resources to ensure their long-term financial security.

Retirement planning

  • Most employees are covered by a retirement plan at work: 30% have access to a defined benefit plan and 69% have access to a defined contribution plan. More than three-quarters of those with access to a defined contribution plan make contributions.
  • Household debt is likely a factor contributing to a lack of confidence regarding saving for retirement; 70% of early-career stage employees and 60% of mid-career employees consider their level of household debt to be a problem.

The full research report can be downloaded here.