Consumers should aim to save 15% of their income in a 401(k) plan, according to Dan Houston, President, Chairman and CEO of Principal Financial (PFG - Get Report) .

"15% of your income today [should be] deferred for long-term retirement needs," Houston said, adding that raising 401(k) contributions lower one's annual tax bill. Money added to a 401(k) is pre-tax.

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