Slightly more than half of Americans set specific savings goals, and when it comes to retirement, less than half save through an employer-sponsored plan, according to a survey released Monday as part of America Saves Week, a campaign led by the Consumer Federation of America and the Employee Benefit Research Institute's American Savings Education Council.
The number of Americans with goal-specific saving plans slipped in 2014 to 51%, down from 54% in 2013. When asked if they were making progress in meeting their savings needs, only 35% of respondents said they were making “good” or “excellent” progress.
“The theme remains consistent — to set a goal, to make a plan, to save automatically. … Those who have done a calculation are twice as likely to feel confident,” said Dallas Salisbury, president and CEO of EBRI and chairman of the ASEC, during a news conference call.
The seventh annual survey of 1,108 adults conducted by phone Jan. 30-Feb.2 also found that of the 90% of respondents who are employed, only 48% save for retirement through an employer-sponsored plan.
“A shockingly high percentage of Americans are not prepared for retirement,” said Stephen Brobeck, executive director of the CFA, during the call.
In addition to individual planning, “employers can make it easier, through payroll deductions, automatic increases and such,” Mr. Salisbury said.
The survey found that one-third of Americans are living within their means and feel prepared for the long-term financial future. The margin of error for the survey was plus or minus three percentage points.