Groups Kick off America Saves Week

February 25, 2008 ( - A new survey taken in connection with the kickoff of the second annual America Saves Week found that 57% of those not yet retired said they are socking away enough of a nest egg to pay for "a desirable standard of living."

A news release about the survey and a newly developed Web site with education resources designed to encourage Americans to save more said an important reason for inadequate retirement savings is the failure or inability to “save for retirement at work through a 401(k) or other contributory plan,” which only 55% of the nonretired respondents reported having.

Among all households in 2005, about one-quarter (27%) were high-income (incomes $75,000 and over), one-third (33%) were middle-income, and two-fifths (40%) were low-income (incomes below $35,000).

The announcement also said:

  • among those not retired, 85% of the high-income group, but only 28% of the low-income group, said they are saving adequately for retirement;
  • among the non-retired population, 77% of the high-income group, but only 24% of the low-income group, reported participating in a retirement plan at work.

Nearly three-quarters of Americans (73%) reported that they “spend less than their income and save the difference,” but little more than half of them (53% of all respondents) said they save at least 5% of their income and only 28% say that they save at least 10% of their income.

More than two-thirds of respondents (71%) reported that they “have sufficient emergency savings to pay for unexpected expenses like car repairs or a doctor visit.”

“Our central message of ‘Build Wealth Not Debt’ seems all the more desirable as the economy continues to face its challenges,” said Dallas Salisbury, President of the Employee Benefits Research Institute (EBRI) and Chairman of American Savings Education Council (ASEC), in the release.

The focus on the importance of saving – including for retirement – Salisbury asserted, “is about moving to fill in the action gaps that have our nation high on debt and low on savings.”

More than 80 governmental, non-profit, and industry organizations sponsoring the PR campaign to encourage savings kicked off the 2008 event with a news conference Monday at which they unveiled the new America Saves Week Web site. The site provides a savings checklist, linked Web pages for checklist items, monthly savings messages, saver enrollment, video messages, and other tools.

More information on available resources for employers to get involved in the savings effort is here .