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Principal: Retirement Worries Cross Borders

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NU Online News Service, June 17, 2004, 6:11 p.m. EDT

Few of the world’s workers are feeling good about their retirement prospects.[@@]

Only 22% of the workers who participated in a recent global financial well-being study said they were confident that they would have enough cash to pay for food, shelter and clothing after they retire.

Researchers hired by Principal Financial Group Inc., Des Moines, Iowa, conducted the study by surveying hundreds of workers in the United States and 11 other regions of the world.

The other regions were Brazil, Chile, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan and Mexico.

Throughout the world, most workers are pessimistic about government social security programs, employer-sponsored pension programs and their own retirement savings efforts.

Only one-third of the survey participants in the United States, Brazil and Italy believe government retirement programs will maintain current benefit levels, and, in Great Britain and Hong Kong, 2 regions where more than 70% of participants are confident in the stability of employer-sponsored pension plans, only one-third of the participants are very confident that they will receive the benefits that they were promised, Principal reports in a summary of the survey findings.

Meanwhile, almost half of the study participants say they have not yet planned for retirement and, in Japan, 80% of participants say they have not received retirement planning advice from any source, including the media, banks, insurers, employers and personal financial advisors.