(USA TODAY) -- Even in a rebounding economy, 28% of Americans are not confident about saving enough money for retirement, according to a new survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), the highest level in the 23 years that it has tracked retirement savings.
The percentage of workers who are secure about their retirement future is the same as it was in 2011, with only 13% saying that they are very confident, according to EBRI's 2013 Retirement Confidence Survey, which is being released today.
Even though workers have seen their investments go back up to where they were before the stock market crash, they also have been waking up to how much more money they need to save for a safe retirement future.
"The good news is that people really do understand how much they should be saving," says Jack VanDerhei,EBRI research director and co-author of the report. "But the bad news is that this has not yet translated into action."
Because Americans have to cope with many immediate financial concerns today, retirement savings is taking a back seat. Only 2% of workers and 5% of retirees say that retirement is their most pressing issue, the survey says.
Among the worries mentioned in the 2013 survey:
• Job uncertainty is the most pressing issue for 30% of workers.
• Nearly one-third of workers, 28%, say that they have less than $1,000 in savings or investments and 12% say that making ends meet is their most immediate concern.
• More than half of workers (55%) and 39% of retirees are dealing with debt problems and they don't have much more left over for savings.
At least many Americans have a more realistic perspective about retirement, says Greg Burrows, senior vice president of retirement and investor services at the Principal Financial Group, a co-sponsor of the EBRI study. For example, more than 80% of workers who are not participating in a 401(k) plan say they are willing to be automatically enrolled and would contribute 6% of their income.
And workers have increased their saving goals, with more than 23% of workers saying that in order to have a secure retirement they need to save 30% or more of their income each year, the EBRI survey says.
To help improve retirement confidence, Burrows suggests some simple steps for workers, which include assessing their personal financial situation, participating in a retirement plan, utilizing calculators and online planning tools, creating a plan that focuses on saving as well as spending, and implementing the plan.