Workers’ Savings Picture Improves

Sixty-five percent of workers recently polled participate in a 401(k), IRA, or other comparable retirement plan, down from 67% last year.
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However, fewer workers have had to reduce their contributions to retirement plans or personal savings—17% in 2013, compared to 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 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 its 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 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%.