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Employees’ confidence in their ability to retire comfortably continues to rebound, according to a new Towers Watson & Co. survey.
The survey of more than 9,200 employees, conducted in June and July of 2011 and released Thursday, found that 68% of respondents said they were very or somewhat confident about having sufficient resources to live comfortably through the first 15 years of retirement, up from 63% in 2010 and 61% in 2009.
In addition, 47% said they were very or somewhat confident about having enough resources to live comfortably through the first 25 years of retirement, up from 40% in 2010 and 39% in 2009.
“As the economy shows periods of stable ground, employees slowly are beginning to be more optimistic about retirement,” Kevin Wagner, a Towers Watson senior retirement consultant in Atlanta, said in a statement.
One factor boosting employees’ confidence level is the growth in many employees’ 401(k) account balances.
The “balances are visible for all employees, and that becomes a natural barometer of retirement confidence,” said Bill Daniels, a Towers Watson senior retirement consultant in Pittsburgh.
For example, according to Fidelity Investments surveys, employees’ average 401(k) account balance was $72,700 at the end of the second quarter of 2011, up from $69,400 at the end of 2010, $62,400 at year-end 2009 and $48,900 at year-end 2008.