Some 35 percent of full-time higher education employees experienced a decrease in income through furlough or salary cuts during COVID-19, according to new research from TIAA Institute and the College and University Professional Association of Human Resources. One-quarter of these employees say their overall financial condition worsened over the last year, and many have dipped into their nonretirement savings since the pandemic’s onset. Forty-five percent of employees are very or somewhat concerned about losing their job in the next two years, and about one-quarter of employees are now worried about living comfortably through retirement.
The reports, “Retirement Readiness Among the Higher Education Workforce: Impact of COVID-19” and “Financial Wellness Among the Higher Education Workforce: Impact of COVID-19” — which are based on a late 2020 survey — are available here. “We’re seeing plenty of evidence and hearing from employees that the pandemic has negatively impacted personal finances in the higher education workforce,” Paul Yakoboski, senior economist at TIAA Institute, said in a statement. “We hope schools can use the insights we’ve gathered to help them enhance the financial wellness of their employees moving forward and also underline the important roles of financial literacy and advice during times of economic stress.”