More Americans Ramping up Retirement Savings

A study says about twice as many Americans are saving more now, compared to responses from the survey's 2011 debut. 

Twenty-eight percent of Americans say they are saving more this year compared to last year, a survey found. Since the survey debuted in 2011, when 15% of Americans increased their retirement savings, this is nearly double that amount. Only 13% are saving less than last year, the lowest on record and less than half of the 29% who decreased their savings in 2011.

This marks the fourth consecutive year that Americans have increased their retirement savings, up from 23% in 2017, 21% in 2016, 19% in 2015 and 18% in 2013. (The question was not part of the 2014 survey.)

Older Millennials, those between the ages of 18 and 37, had the highest propensity to be saving more for retirement than last year (39%), compared to 27% of younger Millennials, and 26% of Gen X. Retirement savings by Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation remained steady.

Those who did not increase their retirement savings were asked why. Twenty-six percent said their income had not changed or had decreased, 16% are focused on another financial priority, 12% said their household expenses have increased, and 5% said they were faced with an unexpected financial emergency. Aside from the above cases, 21% said they were “comfortable” with their retirement savings, and 11% “haven’t gotten around to it.” 

“If you’re not saving at least 10% of your income for retirement, raise your contributions to that level without delay,” says Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at “And once you’re at 10%, aim to increase that to 15%, which is the target most working Americans should aim for.”

SSRS conducted the landline and cellphone survey for among 2,011 people in early August.