NU Online News Service, Oct. 24, 2:10 p.m. – Participants who are confident in their retirement planning are more likely to have set a retirement goal than those who lack such confidence, concludes a study by American Express Retirement Services, part of American Express Financial Advisors, Minneapolis.

The American Express 2002 Participant Satisfaction Survey found that participants who say they have calculated the amount of money they will need to retire are 146% more likely to be “very confident” that they are doing well in preparing financially for retirement than are those who have not calculated a goal.

“Setting a goal helps reinforce the long-term nature of 401(k) investing, the benefits of dollar-cost-averaging and asset allocation over a long period of time,” says John Baker, senior vice president of client services for American Express Retirement Services.

The survey also found that 85% of participants are eager to receive additional, nonretirement financial services through the workplace. This is up from 65% in last year’s survey.

“Participants today are more eager than ever for their employers to support their entire financial wellness, not just their retirement needs,” says Baker.

The survey was mailed to over 10,000 randomly selected 401(k) plan participants, and the results were based on 495 returned surveys–a return rate of 5%. To administer the survey, American Express Retirement Services teamed up with Spectrem Group, Chicago, an investment services consulting firm.