Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS)

retirement confidence survey The RCS is the longest-running annual retirement survey of its kind in the nation. Sponsored by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), the American Savings Education Council (ASEC), and Mathew Greenwald & Associates (Greenwald), the annual RCS is a random, nationally representative survey of 1,000 individuals age 25 and over.

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 addition, policymakers, the news media, and the retirement benefits community are increasing their attention to the special challenges minority groups face when planning financially for the future. The 2003 RCS included an oversample of African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans that will allow for closer examination of how the saving and retirement planning habits of these minority populations compare with those of workers as a whole.