Few Americans Saving More for Retirement

Only 19% have increased their contributions in the past year.

Only 19% of Americans have increased the amount they are contributing to their retirement savings in the past year, Bankrate.com found through a survey. In addition, 14% are saving less, and 55% are saving the same amount. Ten percent haven’t contributed anything in the past two years, the highest level since Bankrate.com started this poll in 2011.

While 14% are saving less for retirement, this is an improvement from 2011, when 29% were saving less. This improved somewhat in 2012 to 18% and again in 2013 to 17%. While the number of Americans saving more is low, it also has improved, from 15% in 2011 and 18% in 2012 and 2013.

“With millions of Americans behind in their retirement savings, it is important not only to save, but to save more each year,” says Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com. “Even for those saving the maximum, 401(k) contribution limits increased for 2015, affording the opportunity to put more away for retirement.”

Bankrate.com’s Financial Security Index slipped for the third consecutive month to 101.2, the lowest reading since October 2014. Any number above 100 indicates improved financial security compared to a year ago. The Index has been above 100 every month since June 2014, a 15-month streak.

Americans’ job outlook improved from last month’s decline, but savings, debt, net worth and overall financial situation all declined.

Women’s sense of financial security turned negative for the first time this year. Women’s comfort level with their debt also turned negative for the first time since December 2014. Men’s feeling of financial security remained positive but tied at the lowest reading of the year. Both men and women said they feel less comfortable with their savings now than they did a year ago.

Princeton Survey Research Associates conducted the survey for Bankrate.com. The full survey can be viewed here.