Gallup: Fewer workers today will rely on 401(k) than pre-recessionNews added by Benefits Pro on May 6, 2014

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By Lisa Barron

While the number of Americans who play to rely on a 401(k) as a major source of retirement is rising, it has still not reached the level it was at before the Great Recession, according to a new Gallup poll.

Prior to the recession, most Americans planned to rely on a 401(k), IRA, Keogh, or other retirement savings account when they retire. Today, Gallup found, 48 percent of Americans say they would rely on a 401(k) account in retirement, a percentage that has not rebounded to pre-recession levels of 54 percent.

During the recession, according to Gallup, many working Americans saw the value of their 401(k) accounts drop, which may have made them skeptical that they would be able to rely on these accounts as a source of income in retirement.

The percentage of non-retired Americans who expected to rely on a 401(k) as a major source of income dropped to 42 percent in 2009, at the height of the recession.

Since then, stocks and 401(k) accounts have recovered much of their value, and the percentage of non-retired Americans who plan to use these retirement accounts as a source of income has increased.

Gallup also found that the percentage of non-retired Americans who plan to rely on a 401(k) is far higher than the percentage of retired Americans who do rely on a 401(k) or other retirement savings account, which currently stands at 22 percent.

The recession did not affect retired Americans' reliance on 401(k)s and other retirement savings accounts as much as it affected non-retirees' projected reliance on these accounts, the survey showed.

Already retired Americans largely use financial sources such as Social Security and employer-sponsored pension plans, according to Gallup.

It speculated that there could be problems ahead for both groups, as the future of Social Security and pension plans is not clear, and studies show how few workers today have adequately built up their savings to the point where they can actually rely on them in retirement.

The telephone interviews of a random sample of 1,026 adults living in all 50 states and the District of Columbia was conducted from April 3-6 and has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.

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