Workers’ Savings Picture Improving

September 25, 2013 ( – Sixty-five percent of workers recently polled participate in a 401(k), IRA or other comparable retirement plan, down from 67% last year.

However, fewer workers have had to reduce their contributions to retirement plans or personal savings—17% in 2013, compared with 20% in 2012, according to CareerBuilder, which polled 2,999 employees in May and June. 

One-quarter (25%) of workers do not set aside anything for savings each month. But that is an improvement from the 27% who said so last year. Among those who do save, 31% save more than $250, and 10% save more than $1,000 per month.

The survey also found 36% of workers report they always or usually live paycheck to paycheck—a recession-era low, down from a peak of 46% in 2008. In 2012, 40 percent of workers reported they always or usually live paycheck to paycheck.

“The financial situation for many households remains a struggle, but, year after year, fewer workers report living paycheck to paycheck,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources (HR) at CareerBuilder. “More workers are saving their earnings on a monthly basis than last year, and 70% feel they are more fiscally responsible post-recession.”

The survey also revealed several expenses some workers say they will not give up, regardless of financial concerns:

  • Internet connection – 55%;
  • Driving – 40%;
  • Pet – 36%;
  • Smartphone – 29%;
  • Cable – 24%;
  • Travel – 10%; and
  • Going out to eat – 9%.