Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS)

retirement confidence survey The Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS) is the longest-running annual retirement survey of its kind in the nation. Sponsored by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and Greenwald & Associates (Greenwald), the annual RCS is a random, nationally representative survey of 2,000 individuals ages 25 and over (1,000 workers and 1,000 retirees).

The survey contains a core set of questions that is asked annually, allowing key attitudes and self-reported behavior patterns to be tracked over time. Sample questions include: how confident are Americans about their retirement income prospects, including Social Security and Medicare; how much money have they saved for their future and where are they putting their money; who they turn to for retirement investment information and advice; and why individuals are not saving more and what would motivate them to do so. The RCS also strives to be timely by covering issues that are of current interest to policymakers and retirement benefits specialists; past examples include participant education in 401(k) plans and understanding of IRA eligibility.

In 2018, for the first time, defined contribution (DC) plan participants were asked about their plans for the money accrued in their plan when they retired. As a greater percentage of retirees continue to benefit from these types of plans, the RCS will assist policy makers and plan sponsors in understanding what, if any, additional tools may be needed to ensure a comfortable retirement.