The ‘Workforce of the Future’ Wants Stable Retirement Income, Earlier Retirement and Would Quit Before Going Back to the Office, Allspring Global Investments Survey Finds

  • Workers with a Planning Mindset1 gain an edge over those without in meeting their retirement goals
  • Three-in-ten workers of all kinds would rather quit than go back to the office, especially younger workers and those living in an urban area
  • Half of workers would retire earlier if healthcare coverage was not dependent on their employer
  • Millennials expect to retire at the average age of 61, but 25% are unsure when they will retire

CHARLOTTE, N.C.--()--The rising costs of retirement, reduced income stability, and changing perspectives on employment and retirement age have magnified U.S. workers’ preference for a stable set of income sources to help weather volatile and low-return environments and guard against financial stress, according to the 2021 Allspring Retirement study conducted by the Harris Poll.

Examining the attitudes and savings of working adults and retirees, Allspring’s survey found that only 23% of current workers expect their retirement nest egg to last more than 20 years, indicating fewer workers have pensions to count on for income stability and echoing increased uncertainty around the possibility of reduced Social Security benefits in the future. In comparison, 83% of current retirees with a pension felt very confident in their retirement savings lasting through retirement. Meanwhile, retirees without a pension expect 80% of retirement income to come from Social Security, with 72% feeling they would have no idea what to do in retirement if Social Security is not there when they need it.

Commenting on the findings, Nate Miles, Head of Retirement for Allspring Global Investments, said: “The ways in which retirement has evolved has shined a light on the need for better retirement income options, including guaranteed and non-guaranteed retirement income solutions. Even with a long-term view to retirement, the difficulties and uncertainties of the past year were enough to shake the most committed savers, and while most workers feel satisfied with their financial life, many are struggling.”

Ron Cohen, Head of Defined Contribution Investment Only Distribution, added: “That’s why we are so focused on researching issues and solutions for retirement, including innovative products with the flexibility to address a broad range of situations and goals.”

A Planning Mindset can help to better visualize retirement

The findings highlight the heightened importance for workers to adopt a Planning Mindset to gain an edge for retirement planning. Consistent with previous studies, workers who were more likely to plan for their financial future continue to be more prepared for retirement and to overcome unexpected financial emergencies along the way, notably during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the study:

  • “I feel in control/happy about my current financial life” – 94% Planning Mindset vs 64% no Planning Mindset
  • “I’m saving (have saved) enough for retirement” – 85% Planning Mindset vs 47% no Planning Mindset
  • “I’ve saved more since the start of the pandemic” – 79% Planning Mindset vs 51% no Planning Mindset
  • “I make plans for what to do with my finances in case something unexpected happens or plans need to be changed” – 94% Planning Mindset vs 65% no Planning Mindset
  • “I feel overwhelmed/paralyzed in current financial life” – 11% Planning Mindset vs 40% no Planning Mindset

Impact of trend towards retiring earlier

The survey also shows the changing outlook on when workers choose to retire and when to start taking Social Security benefits. Half of today’s retirees report that they retired earlier than expected - cutting short the typically highest-earning and highest-saving years - citing health issues and employer decisions as the key drivers for retirement. According to the report, millennials expect to retire at the average age of 61, but 25% are unsure when they will retire. Eight percent of workers deferred retirement in 2021 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, driving some workers’ retirement savings further behind, while other workers chose to increase their savings.

Work 2.0 following the pandemic adds new perspective

Changing outlooks on retirement have been accompanied by a significant shift in employment trends, the survey shows. Three-in-ten workers of all kinds would rather quit their job than go back to the office again, especially younger workers and those living in an urban area, while 28% of workers have relocated or plan to relocate in the next 24 months due to a combination of factors, including: lower costs of living (36%), a different lifestyle (35%), lower housing costs (34%) and a better place to raise children (32%).

Half of workers would retire earlier if healthcare coverage was not dependent on their employer

The cost of healthcare continues to be a primary concern for both workers and retirees. Half (48%) of workers indicated they would retire earlier if healthcare coverage was not dependent on their employer. Notably, this sentiment is led by younger generations (Gen Z: 62%; Millennials: 58%; Gen X: 45%; Boomer: 36%).

About the Survey

On behalf of Allspring Global Investments, The Harris Poll conducted a survey between July 21st – August 4th, 2021 among 3,402 adults who reside in the U.S. and are primary or joint household financial decision-makers. The survey analyzed attitudes and behaviors around planning their finances, saving, and investing for retirement. The sample consisted of 2,304 working Americans age 18-75 and 1,098 retired Americans. Of the working respondents, 804 were in the Planning Mindset and 1,500 were in the Non-Planning Mindset. Broken down by age, the working demographic included 384 Gen Z (ages 18-24), 717 Millennial (ages 25-40), 663 Gen X (ages 41-56), and 511 Boomer (57-75) survey respondents. Data are weighted where necessary by age, gender, race/ethnicity, region, education, income, marital status, employment, household size, and propensity to be online to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.

About Allspring Global Investments

Allspring Global Investments is a leading independent asset management firm with $587 billion** in assets under management, 18 offices globally, and specialized investment teams supported by more than 480 investment professionals around the world. Allspring and its investment teams provide a broad range of differentiated investment products and solutions to help its diverse range of clients meet their investment objectives. For more information, please visit

**As of September 30, 2021, AUM includes $93 billion from Galliard Capital Management, an investment advisor that is not part of the Allspring trade name/GIPS firm.

About The Harris Poll

The Harris Poll is one of the longest running surveys in the U.S. tracking public opinion, motivations and social sentiment since 1963 that is now part of Harris Insights & Analytics, a global consulting and market research firm that delivers social intelligence for transformational times. We work with clients in three primary areas: building 21st-century corporate reputation, crafting brand strategy and performance tracking, and earning organic media through public relations research. Our mission is to provide insights and advisory to help leaders make the best decisions possible. To learn more, please visit

Allspring Global Investments TM is the trade name for the asset management firms of Allspring Global Investments Holdings, LLC, a holding company indirectly owned by certain private funds of GTCR LLC and Reverence Capital Partners, L.P. These firms include but are not limited to Allspring Global Investments, LLC, and Allspring Funds Management, LLC. Certain products managed by Allspring entities are distributed by Allspring Funds Distributor, LLC (a broker-dealer and Member FINRA/SIPC). This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute investment, financial, tax, or legal advice. Please contact your investment, financial, tax, or legal advisor regarding your specific needs and situation. The information shown is not intended to provide any suggestion that you engage in or refrain from taking a particular course of action. All investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal. There can be no assurance that any investment strategy will be successful. Investments fluctuate with changes in market and economic conditions and in different environments due to numerous factors, some of which may be unpredictable. Each asset class has its own risk and return characteristics.

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1 In Allspring’s 2018 retirement study, it identified the Planning Mindset based on the individual’s likelihood to plan for their financial future (in the near term and in the longer term), which may help to strengthen their financial future. Having a financial plan and sticking to it can make a big difference in achieving a successful retirement and in feeling more confident along the way. This has been seen consistently in the results of all four studies.


For further information, please contact Peregrine Communications:

Thomas Conroy
Peregrine Communications
+1 267 815 1302


For further information, please contact Peregrine Communications:

Thomas Conroy
Peregrine Communications
+1 267 815 1302