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November 15, 2007
Most Employees Desire Access to Retirement Savings Plan
The majority of employees that lack access to a defined contribution plan, such as a 401(k) or 403(b) plan, would participate in one if it were available, according to a recent survey conducted by AARP.

The survey found that over six in 10 financial decision-makers in working households who do not have access to a 401(k) or 403(b) plan through their employer or their spouse's employer would be "very" (43%) or "somewhat" (23%) likely to participate in such a plan if it was available.

Those without access to a retirement savings plan at work are less likely to have saved for retirement (51% vs. 86%), tried to calculate the amount of money they will need in retirement (38% vs. 49%), or made changes in retirement planning as a result of calculating the amount of money they will need. (32% vs. 53%) according to the survey.

The survey was conducted among 1,001 respondents ages 21 to 70 were employed or had a spouse who was employed in the private sector, and neither they nor their spouse had ever participated in a defined benefit plan.

The survey further found that 30% of working households have not saved anything for retirement, while 22% have saved up to $25,000. In addition, many financial decision-makers have a false sense of security regarding their financial future according to the survey, as about half are "very" or "somewhat" confident that they will have enough money to cover their basic expenses in retirement and be able to live comfortably.

Last month, presidential hopeful Senator Hillary Clinton announced a plan that would allow all Americans to open personal 401(k) retirement savings accounts. Her plan, the American Retirement Accounts Plan, provides for "universal access" to 401(k) accounts along with matching tax cuts from the federal government. Read our coverage on this plan here.

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