A new IRI original research report, “Retirement, Income and Risk,” found that only about 1 in 6 of retirees rely on Social Security for more than half of their retirement income, and two-thirds rely on an employer pension for at least 25 percent of their income. Due in large part to the security provided by pensions, most retirees with personal retirement savings are only tapping those accounts due to the legal requirement to take annual Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs). Most workplace retirement plans today are based on defined contribution, such as 401(k) plans, as opposed to a pension with guaranteed lifetime income payments. Future retirees will be much more dependent on retirement savings for income, and must plan accordingly.

The study is based on a survey of recent retirees (American workers retired for five to 15 years) with at least $100,000 in savings.