Fewer Americans are counting on 401(k) accounts to fund their retirement years, apparently because of disappointment with the stock market after painful losses in the Great Recession, according to a new study.
Only 48% of non-retirees expect a 401(k), individual retirement account or similar savings vehicle to be a major source of retirement income, according to a Gallup poll. That's up from 46% last year but down from 54% in early 2008, just before the worst of the global financial crisis struck.
Even though the stock market has recouped its crisis-era losses and gone on to a series of new highs, many small investors missed the gains because they bailed out before that.
Confidence in 401(k)s has improved in recent years from a low of 42% in 2009, according to the poll. But that's fairly unimpressive given the resurgence in stock prices.
A bit more than 3 in 10 non-retirees expect to rely heavily on Social Security, according to the poll.
That number has grown in the aftermath of the Great Recession.