U.S. Ahead in Retirement Savings Globally

January 23, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The U.S. topped 11 countries in saving for retirement, according to a recent survey by AXA Equitable.

An AXA Equitable news release said its survey found U.S. workers save on average $696 a month for retirement, more than double the amount saved by workers in Germany, Italy and France, and nearly 10 times the amount saved by workers in China. Eight of 10 working Americans surveyed said they have already started saving for retirement, with the average age to begin saving of 30.

Meanwhile, 95% of working Americans surveyed and 86% of retirees agreed that Social Security is in trouble, according to the news release. However, 77% of low-income retirees said they rely on Social Security as a major income source.

While people in Hong Kong, China and Spain are bullish on their country’s pension system (nearly 90% of Chinese said they believe in their current system), one-third of the U.S. population under age 50 said they did not think our current system will be around when they reach age 75.

In addition, 54% of Americans said they anticipate additional retirement reform in the next decade, including an increase in the retirement age and a reduction in public pension benefits. Nearly three-quarters of U.S. workers said they think public pension benefits will be reduced as a result of reforms.

Other key survey findings from U.S. respondents included:

  • Out of 11 countries surveyed, U.S. retiree respondents were found to be the happiest, travel the most, receive the highest income, save the most for retirement, have the highest percentage of home ownership and believe they have the best financial situation.
  • Most retirees surveyed started their retirement at age 58.
  • One-quarter of middle-income retirees surveyed reported they were forced by their employer to retire early.
  • The age people expect to retire is increasing. Working people surveyed said they expect to retire at age 64, versus age 62 in last year’s survey.

A total of 6,915 people between 25 and 75 years old were interviewed in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. The main sample from the U.S. included 840 people, 421 of whom were working and 419 were retired.

The complete AXA Equitable Retirement Scope report is here .

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