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Using several versions of e-mails to retirement plan participants, researchers at Yale University conducted experiments to determine if certain written cues would affect the saving behavior of participants. The e-mails reminded participants of the employer match and how much the participant had contributed so far in the year, and allowed the researchers to study the impact of specific wording and examples on saving rates.
Although surveyed employees reported increasing satisfaction with their financial situation, they are still concerned and are planning to take steps to improve their finances.
Towers Watson’s Retirement Planning In a Post-Crisis Economy report found that 41 percent of survey respondents reported improved satisfaction with their finances, up from 33% in 2010. Also, 47% reported having seen a significant decline in their pension and retirement savings, down from 60% in 2009. Even so, nearly 60% were generally unsatisfied with their financial situation.
In stark contrast to the results of the surveys of plan sponsors described on page 1 of this newsletter, about 68% of workers said they were very or somewhat confident about having sufficient financial resources to live comfortably for 15 years in retirement, up from 62% the year before.
They have less confidence about living comfortably throughout retirement. Those who were very or somewhat confident that they will have enough resources to last 25 years in retirement amounted to less than half (47%) of respondents. In 2010, that figure was 40%.