PenFed Survey Finds Majority of Adults Have Less than $5,000 in Savings, but Expect to Save More This Year

PenFed Survey Finds Majority of Adults Have Less than $5,000 in Savings, but Expect to Save More This Year

Posted March 01 2018
by Media Relations

TYSONS, Va., March 1, 2018 – PenFed Credit Union, the nation’s second-largest federal credit union, today announced results from a nationwide survey on consumer behaviors and opinions related to savings. Nationally recognized market research firm McLaughlin & Associates conducted the survey on behalf of PenFed. It found that the majority of adults have less than $5,000 in savings, but when asked about their outlook on the future, say they plan to save more this year over last year. The savings gap is most pronounced by income, education, gender and if they have a financial advisor.

McLaughlin & Associates conducted the survey from February 15 – February 21, 2018, on behalf of PenFed Credit Union. The survey was conducted online among a cross section of 1,000 adults age 18 and over, and has an accuracy of +/- 3.1% at a 95% confidence interval. It found:

  • On average, adults, including households with dual incomes, have $8,700 set aside in savings. The majority of adults (62%) have less than $5,000 in savings. One in five (20%) has more than $20,000 in savings.
  • There is approximately a $9,100 savings gap between household incomes under $40,000 ($3,100) and over $40,000 ($12,200).
  • College graduates have two and a half times more in savings than adults without a college degree ($13,300 to $5,200).
  • Four in five (82%) adults put money aside in savings over a course of a year. The majority (61%) say they are monthly savers. One in five (18%) never save money.
  • The results show adults are optimistic about their future savings. Half (51%) expect to save more this year than last year. A little less than one-third (30%) expect to save the same amount, and only 10% expect to save less than last year.

“You never know when life will throw you a curve ball. It’s important to have extra money set aside in case of emergencies,” said Stephen Simpson, CFP®, AAMS®, Vice President, Affiliated Businesses with PenFed. Mr. Simpson leads PenFed’s Wealth Management Division including Investment Management Services and Trust and Fiduciary Services. “Protect yourself against the unexpected and make sure to start putting money towards an emergency savings account.”

PenFed, which has more than 1.6 million members, is participating in America Saves Week by working to educate consumers about the importance of saving. America Saves Week is coordinated by America Saves and the American Savings Education Council. Additionally, PenFed is participating in Military Saves Week by encouraging its members to save in its branches on military bases. Military Saves Week is coordinated by America Saves and the Consumer Federation of America in partnership with the Department of Defense. The Week is an annual opportunity for organizations to promote good savings behavior and a chance for individuals to assess their own saving status.

Each day during America and Military Saves Week, a new theme is introduced to educate consumers. PenFed will release survey findings and tips related to the various themes each day this week.

Visit to learn more about how you can save with PenFed Credit Union. Click here to take the America Saves Week pledge. Click here to take the Military Saves Week pledge. 



About PenFed Credit Union

Established in 1935 as the War Department Credit Union, PenFed Credit Union is America’s second-largest federal credit union, serving over 1.6 million members worldwide with more than $23 billion in assets. Our long-standing mission has been to provide superior financial services in a cost-effective manner, while being responsive to members’ needs. PenFed Credit Union offers market-leading mortgages, automobile loans, credit cards, student loans, checking, certificates, and a wide range of other financial services with members’ interests always in mind.  PenFed Credit Union serves a diverse population, and no military service is required to join.  PenFed Credit Union offers many paths to membership, including numerous employee groups and association affiliations. PenFed Credit Union is federally insured by the NCUA and is an equal housing lender. To learn more about PenFed Credit Union, visit, like us on Facebook and follow us @PenFed on Twitter. Interested in working for PenFed? Check us out on LinkedIn. We are proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.