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April 04, 2006
Confidence Inconsistent with Retirement Savings

More than two-thirds of workers (68 percent) say they are very confident or somewhat confident that they will have enough money to live comfortably in retirement, but almost the same percentage of workers say they and their spouses have accumulated less than $50,000 in retirement savings, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

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Twenty-four percent of survey respondents said they are very confident they will have enough money to live comfortably in retirement, and another 44 percent said they are somewhat confident.

However, about two-thirds of respondents said they and their spouses have accumulated less than $50,000 in retirement savings ( excluding the value of their primary home and any defined benefit plans). Half of workers ages 55 and older have less than $50,000 saved for retirement, according to the survey.

The survey found that many workers are counting on employer-provided benefits in retirement that are increasingly unavailable. Only 40 percent of workers indicate they or their spouse currently have a defined benefit plan, yet 61 percent say they are expecting to receive income from such a plan in retirement.

The survey also asked about workers' support for automatic enrollment in a 401(k) plan for boosting participation in a retirement plan. About two-thirds of employed workers favor automatic enrollment for new employees, according to the survey. A slightly smaller portion support automatically increasing the percentage of salary contributed when a pay raise is received (65 percent).

About half of respondents said their employer provided retirement education. Of those, almost a third (29 percent) report modifying their retirement planning as a result of the material they receive.

EBRI conducted the survey in January among 1,252 individuals ages 25 and older.

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