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Survey

EBRI: Half of workers confident on how much to save for retirement

Six in 10 workers feel they're doing a good job preparing for retirement, up from 56% last year, but only 50% feel confident they know how much to save in order to live comfortably when that time comes, according to the 28th annual Retirement Confidence Survey released Thursday by the Employee Benefit Research Institute and Greenwald & Associates.

The survey also found that 59% of workers feel at least somewhat stressed about preparing for retirement and just 23% of workers within five years of retirement are very confident they know how much they'll need to live comfortably.

Three-quarters of employed workers said they're offered a defined contribution retirement savings plan and more than 80% of those workers contribute to one. A majority of workers (53%) expect their workplace retirement savings plan to be a major source of income in retirement, the survey found.

For the first time, the survey asked workers about guaranteed lifetime income. Four in 5 respondents expressed interest in the idea, regardless of whether the product is an in-plan investment option or a separate product purchased at the time of retirement.

"It seems like there is room for providers (and) investment companies to look at providing some type of guaranteed income, some type of annuity, or some other type of product that would give people a steady stream of income," said Craig Copeland, EBRI senior research associate and co-author of the survey report. He noted that there are still myriad issues to sort out before the idea enters the mainstream.

There is also growing concern about health care in retirement. More than 4 in 10 retirees report that their health-care expenses are higher than they expected. Retirees in fair or poor health are more likely to have difficulty managing their money in retirement, "including maintaining their pre-retirement lifestyle, managing day-today finances, and of course, managing health-care costs," the survey said.