Schwab 401(k) Participant Survey 2023

Inflation and market volatility are impacting workers’ ability to save for retirement to a greater extent than last year


Overall Findings-All Generations

Key Findings

  • Rather than reducing their 401(k) contributions, Americans say they’re cutting spending overall and saving less in other areas to respond to inflation and market volatility.

  • Sixty percent of 401(k) savers would be willing to give up a portion of their next raise in exchange for better benefits.

  • 401(k)s have become a non-negotiable benefit for workers, with nearly nine in ten saying it is a “must have” when looking for a new job.
$1.8 million. The average amount people think they need for retirement.

Gen Z Findings

Key Findings

  • The youngest members of the workforce report the most obstacles to saving for a comfortable retirement, but still want to quit working at 61, earlier than other generations.
  • Financial stress is taking a greater toll on Gen Z workers, but they are also more likely to report their employer has stepped up pay and other benefits in response.
  • Younger investors are comfortable using AI for financial planning but are more likely to act on advice from humans.

About the survey

This online survey of 1,000 U.S. 401(k) plan participants was conducted by Logica Research between April 19 and May 2, 2023. Survey respondents were actively employed by companies with at least 25 employees, were 401(k) plan participants and were 21-70 years old. Survey respondents include participants served by approximately 15 different retirement plan providers. All data is self-reported by study participants and is not verified or validated. In order to analyze Gen Z results against other generations, an additional 100 plan participants aged 21 to 26 completed the survey.

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