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TheStreet Open House

How Your Boss Can Help You Save for Retirement

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. workers are obviously having a tough time getting a grip on their retirement savings, but many may not know help is available from an unlikely source -- their employer.

The latest Retirement Confidence Survey from the Washington, D.C.-based Employee Benefits Research Institute reports that 49% of American workers are either not at all confident or not too confident they'll have enough money for retirement. Part of the problem is that more than 50% of workers haven't established a target savings goal for retirement, and thus haven't established a sustained "battle plan" for saving money over the long haul.

"Only 46% report they and/or their spouse have tried to calculate how much money they will need to have saved by the time they retire so that they can live comfortably in retirement," says Jack VanDerhei, EBRI research director and co-author of the report.

But help is available.

Transamerica Retirement Solutions, of Harrison, N.Y., advises American workers to turn to their employers for help in meeting their retirement savings needs. In fact, Transamerica offers five direct ways companies can drive their staffers to do a better job of saving money. (Those staffers have to do their part, of course, and work closely with their managers to get on the right retirement savings track.)

"Employers have more influence than they probably realize in creating a secure financial future for their employees," says Patricia Advaney, a senior vice president at Transamerica Retirement Solutions. "The primary focus of the plan sponsor's actions should be centered on bettering retirement outcomes for plan participants."

Advaney says what has been tried before just isn't working, and the retirement planning script needs to change. "We need to move beyond traditional, one-dimensional measures such as participation or average contribution rate to measure plan success," she says. "Helping employees retire with enough income to live comfortably is the ultimate goal of any workplace savings program."

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