Americans under Financial Strain Abandon Retirement Plan Saving

October 28, 2008 ( - A new survey conducted by Opinion Research Corporation on behalf of TD AMERITRADE Holding Corporation found that financial strain due to the economic downturn was cited by half of those who say they have reduced or stopped contributing to their retirement plan.

Unemployment (32%) and health care costs (25%) were also key factors cited as affecting respondents’ ability to contribute to their retirement plans, according to a press release.

Of the 35% that said they have reduced their retirement plan contributions, 14% have cut their contributions back by 5% to 20%, and 6% have reduced their contributions by 21% or more. Sixty-three percent indicated they have stopped contributing completely.

Nearly one in four respondents (22%) ages 35 to 44 years indicated that they have stopped or reduced their retirement plan contributions – more than any other age group, the press release said.

Only about half (54%) of Americans polled say they are currently invested in a retirement plan. Thirty-four percent of respondents say they currently have less than $50,000 in investable assets. Only 21% of those polled indicated they have $50,000 or more in investable assets.

When asked if they plan to personally contribute more to their future retirement given the potential changes in Social Security nearly half (43%) answered yes.

The survey findings are based on a telephone survey conducted among a national probability sample of 1,005 adults comprising 502 men and 503 women, 18 years of age and older, living in private households in the continental United States.