Poll analysis

10/3/2013

This week, we asked readers to consider four options for retirement saving, ranging from a mandatory, government-imposed solution to do-it-yourself saving. A striking majority of the 975 respondents in the global poll -- 45% -- chose "mandatory, whereby individuals are forced to save into private retirement plans via their employer," followed by 22% of respondents who said that saving for retirement should be "elective, whereby employees are automatically enrolled in private retirement plans but can opt out if they so choose." Respondents were evenly split -- at 17% and 16%, respectively -- between the remaining options: "mandatory, whereby individuals are forced to save into government retirement plans via taxes," and "elective, whereby employees are free to save and invest (or not) for retirement as they see fit." Respondents in the Asia-Pacific region also overwhelmingly voted for mandatory savings into private plans -- 51% -- followed by a tie at 20% between forced savings into government plans via taxes and the freedom to save and invest (or not) as they see fit. Many people regard Australia's retirement system -- which has two key components: a means-tested government benefit and a mandatory savings account financed by employers -- as among the best in the world. Now some in the U.S. are calling for a similar solution -- a mandatory defined contribution retirement savings plan -- as a way to address the looming pension crisis. -- Lauren Foster, Content Director, CFA Institute

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