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Public Sector Employees Now Less Confident of Their Post-Retirement Security

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Published on : Aug 21, 2014

A new analysis reveals that employees in the public sector in the United States are more anxious today about their post-retirement safety than they were just two years ago.  

The analysis says that only 18% of all full-time public sector employees that were a part of the survey said that they were ‘very confident’ about their post-retirement income security. This is a 3% slide from 2012, when 21% public workers had stated being very confident about their income following retirement. The report was released on August 20, 2014 by the Center for State and Local Government Excellence (SLGE) in association with the TIAA-CREF Institute. 

Healthcare costs, estimated benefits from Medicare and Social Security, and the personal investments and savings of employees were areas of particular concern.

The highest drop in confidence was observed among teachers in the public sector. They showed a 7 percentage-point change from being ‘very confident’ about their retirement security to being ‘somewhat confident’. 

The analysis found that much of this dip in confidence has resulted from changes that were effected to retiree health care - this is typically less protected as compared to pensions, the report said.

With a growing lifespan of Americans coupled with escalating healthcare costs, a number of local and even state governments have offloaded part of this hefty bill on retirees. In some cases, retiree coverage has been slashed altogether. Employees in states such as Chicago, Detroit, and in the Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, are a case in point, where employees are now asked to get their own health insurance via their spouse or a private insurer through Obamacare exchanges.

1,263 employees working with state and local government establishments were surveyed as part of this study.

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