NU Online News Service, Dec. 5, 1:33 p.m. – Employer matching contributions definitely increase Americans’ interest in contributing to employer-sponsored retirement savings programs, but access to financial advisors can help, too, according to results of a new survey conducted by an arm of Prudential Financial Inc., Newark, N.J.

Researchers interviewed 1,064 U.S. workers who were eligible for 401(k), 403(b) or 457 plans.

They found that 84% said a dollar-for-dollar employer matching contribution could encourage them to participate.

Seventy-four percent of the workers might participate if the employer provided a match of 50 cents on the dollar, 71% if the employer provided personalized retirement planning, and 68% if the employer provided access to a financial advisor.

The researchers also found that only 52% of workers surveyed had a formal retirement savings plan. Only 28% of the workers between the ages of 21 and 34 had a formal plan.

Although workers who refused to join retirement plans tended to be relatively poor and uneducated, 32% of those surveyed had college degrees, 55% earned more than $50,000 a year and 57% thought they could or might be able to afford to invest.