Americans lead the world in saving for retirement but are not as confident as workers in other nations that their pensions are safe.

The average U.S. worker saves $696 a month for retirement, according to researchers at AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company, New York, a unit of AXA S.A., Paris. That is more than twice the amount saved by workers in Germany, Italy and France, and nearly 10 times the amount saved by the average worker in China.

AXA’s 3rd annual retirement study found that 80% of Americans surveyed have already started saving for retirement.

Out of 6,900 respondents in 11 countries surveyed, U.S. retirees were found to be the happiest, to travel the most, to earn the most, to have the highest incidence of home ownership and to believe they have the best financial situation, AXA researchers report.

Americans begin saving at 30 years old, on average, the survey found. Most do not see old age occurring until age 81, up from 79 in last year’s survey. Most retirees started their retirement at age 58.

Other survey findings:

- Working Americans expect to retire at age 64, versus 62 in last year’s survey.

- Although people in Hong Kong, China and Spain are optimistic about their country’s pension system–nearly 90% of Chinese believe in their system–about 30% of Americans under age 50 do not think the current system will be around when they reach age 75.

- Among working Americans, 95% think Social Security is in trouble, and 86% of retirees agree. More than 20% of people under age 65 believe it is in a crisis.

- Among current retirees, 90% think the retirement age will increase, and nearly 75% of workers think public pension benefits will be reduced as a result of reforms.