Feeling hopeful about your retirement readiness? If so, you've got company. A study being released Wednesday found that employees in 13 out of the 15 countries surveyed are feeling at least as optimistic as they were a year ago about how prepared they are for retirement.
Whether they really are more prepared, though, is another matter.
"Our concern is that the increase is more attributable to increased optimism given the markets' recovery, versus actual changes in behavior," said Catherine Collinson, executive director of the Aegon Center for Longevity and Retirement, which conducted the study in collaboration with the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies.
The overall retirement readiness score for the survey respondents—which included 14,400 employees in 15 countries—was a 5.9 out of a possible 10, which by Aegon's scale means they need to do much more to be sure they have a comfortable retirement. (The scores are based on answers to questions that examine respondents' understanding of retirement planning, sense of personal responsibility and the extent to which they are currently saving for retirement, among other factors.)
A score between 6 and 8 means an employee is taking some steps toward saving for retirement, but needs to do more. Only 18 percent of global employees surveyed achieved scores above 8, indicating they are well-prepared for retirement by Aegon's standards.
The survey found that more than 6 in 10 employees globally are not saving habitually for retirement, and as many as 4 in 10 employees are currently not saving for retirement at all. (Tweet This)
That lack of saving comes at a time when more and more people have to rely on their own savings. Many countries are following a path similar to that of the United States, moving away from defined benefit plans and toward an emphasis on personal savings.
Aegon found that "savings are now a more widespread tool for retirement planning than either defined benefit pensions, used by 26 percent globally, and private pensions, used by 24 percent."