A large number of Americans are unaware of the various benefits of contributing annually to an individual retirement account
, according to a new survey by TIAA-CREF.
Less than one-quarter (22 percent) of Americans currently contribute to an IRA, and those that do are not investing enough to receive full tax benefits, the survey said.
This lack of knowledge will lead to less money during retirement, especially for younger Americans, according to Dan Keady, director of financial planning at TIAA-CREF.
Younger investors were least aware of the potential benefits
of their IRA, the survey found. In fact, 73 percent of respondents aged 18 to 34 did not know the maximum contribution; while 61 percent said they were unaware of the limits.
Meanwhile, 58 percent of younger Americans were not aware that growth in an IRA is tax-deferred
, TIAA-CREF said.
Fifty-five percent of all respondents did not receive tax and savings benefits from their IRA because they failed to make the maximum contribution.
Just 8 percent of investors making less than $35,000 annually contributed to an IRA, while 13 percent of those making between $35,000 and $50,000 made contributions, the survey said.