The youngest and the oldest working-age Americans have the most confidence in their ability to retire comfortably, according to a new survey from OneAmerica. The first-time survey, which OneAmerica intends to repeat to track data, identified a “confidence donut” for those between the ages of 30 and 50.

Out of 6,360 participants to the online poll, 44% of retirement plan participants between the ages of 20 and 30 and 45% of those older than 50 reported being “very confident” or “confident” in their plans to maintain their current lifestyle in retirement. Only 37% of those 30 to 40 years old and 35% of those 40 to 50 could say the same.

“The drivers of retirement confidence likely vary from generation to generation,” says Marsha Whitehead, vice president of marketing communications for the retirement services division. “Younger people may be overly confident because retirement seems so far off to them whereas older people may be drawing confidence from their life experience or may have adjusted their expectations.”

Those between the ages of 40 and 50 were also the most likely (25%) to say they were “not confident” or “completely doubtful” in their ability to accrue enough retirement income to retire the way they’d like.

“It’s imperative that plan sponsors and providers dialogue with participants who don't feel as confident to discover the reasons for their hesitations and anxieties and work to instill confidence,” says Whitehead.

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