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Majority of workers feel responsible to save for retirement

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Americans may, as innumerable studies indicate, be falling short in saving for the golden years. If there’s a silver lining, it’s this: Most American workers recognize they are personally responsible for meeting their retirement income needs.

That’s a key finding from a new LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute Research survey, which polled in April a nationally representative survey of 1,013 Americans.

More than three quarters (78 percent) of workers believe they are personally responsible to save for their retirement. Among participants in defined contribution (DC) plans, such as 401(k)s and 403(b)s, more than 8 in 10 (84 percent) share this sentiment.

“It is encouraging to see that so many Americans understand that their action — or inaction — during their working years can determine their financial security in retirement,” said Alison Salka, senior vice president, director LIMRA Research. “Systematically saving throughout one’s career is essential for the majority of Americans to attain their preferred retirement lifestyle once their working years come to an end.”

The study shows that 77 percent of working Americans believe all workers should have access to a retirement savings plan at work. They note also that an employer-sponsored retirement plan is an effective vehicle through which to save for retirement. 

Additionally, six in ten Americans agree that those who save in a DC retirement plan are likely to achieve a secure retirement.

Three in ten American workers believe their DC plan savings will represent the primary source of retirement income. The feeling is more pronounced among younger workers and DC plan participants. Half of DC plan participants and nearly 4 in 10 plan participants under age 45 believe savings in their DC plans will be the primary source of retirement income.

Nearly half of workers participating in their DC retirement plan are more confident that they will realize their chosen retirement lifestyle than non-participating workers (45 percent vs. 32 percent).

“Our research shows that defined contribution plans provide workers the ability to take responsibility for their retirement security,” notes Salka. “The data suggests that workers who participate are afforded the confidence that they will achieve their chosen retirement lifestyle.”