NU Online News Service, April 5, 2004, 3:00 p.m. EST – Forty-four percent of U.S. workers feel insecure about their current financial well being, although nearly half say they are optimistic about their financial outlook.[@@]

The Principal Financial Group’s latest Financial Well Being Index, conducted by Harris Interactive, also found that of those participants with retirement savings, 73% have not made any changes in the past year in how their retirement savings are invested, while 19% moved to more stable investments and 8% moved to more volatile investments.

The survey found that 90% of U.S. employers offered health insurance, down from 94% in 2002. Satisfaction scores for health insurance were down 12% from 2002 to 35%, the Principal found.

Still, 92% rated health insurance as their most important benefit, while 74% rated defined contribution retirement plans as the second-most important benefit.

The Principal, in Des Moines, Iowa, takes the index survey twice each year.