Retirement a concern for nonprofit employees

Roughly 45 percent of all employees working in the nonprofit sector are not confident with their ability to prepare financially for retirement, a new study says.

Those findings “underscore the need for the nonprofit and philanthropic sector to address their employees’ long-term financial security, create more opportunities for advancement within the sector, and look for national, cross-sector solutions,” TIAA-CREF Institute and Independent Sector, which released the study, say in a statement.

While roughly 59 percent of 1,000 full-time employees age 21 and older in the nonprofit and philanthropic sector who were polled for the study are “very or extremely satisfied” with their current employment, nearly half have considered leaving the sector to get greater compensation elsewhere, says the study, Financial Security and Careers in the Nonprofit and Philanthropic Sector.

Over 90 percent of sector employees say personal satisfaction with their organization’s mission is a “central driver” for their career decisions, but only 30 percent are “very or extremely satisfied” with opportunities for career advancement.

“The results demonstrate the need for financial planning and advice to help these employees combine the best of both worlds,” Paul Yakoboski, senior economist at TIAA-CREF Institute, says in a statement.

Diana Aviv, president and CEO of Independent Sector, says concerns about financial security “can undermine the sector’s ability to attract and retain the most talented individuals to address the tough challenges we face.”

The sector should consider “how to secure the financial future of staff and those interested in working in the charitable sector,” she says. “Financial security will make it possible for these leaders to remain in the sector over an entire career.”

The nonprofit and philanthropic sector consists of 1.6 million organizations, including charities, foundations and professional associations, and employs roughly 10 percent of the U.S. workforce, TIAA-CREF and Independent Sector say.

Todd Cohen

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