71% Expect Retirement Shortfall

From Associated Press

Although a growing number of Americans are saving more for retirement, many still are not setting aside enough to meet the income they expect after they quit working, according to a survey released Tuesday.

"Today, 71% say that they are not setting aside enough for retirement, compared to 60% in 1992," said Ken Feltman, executive director of the Employers Council on Flexible Compensation.

"The sad reality is that they're correct, and for many, time is quickly running out."

The fifth annual Workplace Pulse Survey found that average annual retirement savings rose to $2,388 during 1996, 11% more than in 1995 and 34% more than in 1994.

Still, the retirement savings of workers in every age group will fall far below their average annual retirement income expectations, according to the poll.

The survey of 1,000 full-time workers was conducted in November by Marketing Research Institute for the Employers Council on Flexible Compensation and Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Co.

Workplace Pulse estimated that workers who are 60 and plan to retire at 65 would need $353,324 in total savings to receive $26,256 in income. A worker who is now 30 would need $1,145,972 at age 65 to meet expectations.

The report said 30-year-old workers would need to save $662 more each month than the average $1,761 a year they now put away in order to achieve an annual retirement income of $26,256 in 1996 dollars.

At the same time, a 60-year-old worker with $140,000 already saved would need to put away an additional $2,325 a month to retire at 65 on a $26,256 yearly income. But the survey found that the average worker age 45 to 64 is saving only $2,529 a year.

"For younger workers, there may be time to catch up. For older workers, it is going to be very hard, if not impossible, for them to live their retirement dreams, even though workers over 45 are saving 31% more than they were two years ago," said John Penko, an executive of the insurance company.

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