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Survey: Plans Help Worker Confidence At Big Companies

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Employees at large employers feel better about retirement than employees at smaller employers, but they may have similar gaps in financial literacy.

Researchers at the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, Los Angeles, an arm of AEGON N.V., Netherlands, have published data supporting that conclusion in a summary of results from one recent survey of 659 owners of U.S. businesses with 10 or more employees and a second survey of 1,402 Americans ages 18 and older at U.S. employers with 10 or employees.

The researchers defined “small company” as a company with 10 to 499 workers and “large company” as a company with 500 or more workers.

The workers at large companies were far more likely to say they believed they are “building a large enough retirement nest egg.”

About 70% of the large-company workers somewhat or strongly agreed that they were building an adequate nest egg, compared with just 60% of the small-company workers.

Nevertheless, even though the large-company workers reported earning more than the small-company workers, they are not doing much better at building up retirement savings: About 54% of the large-company workers and 58% of the small-company workers said they have less than $100,000 in retirement savings.

Researchers also asked workers how much money they would have to put aside to cover retirement savings needs.

When researchers asked the large-company employees how they came up with their estimates, 34% said they “guessed” and only 15% said they completed a worksheet or performed some other calculation. Meanwhile, about 37% of the small-company employees said they guessed at their answer, and 13% reported performing some kind of formal calculation.