Our third annual Survey of Defined Contribution Plan Participants looks at plan participation from three unique views with the goal of providing greater insight into how to best address the retirement funding gap facing millions of Americans today.

Attitudes: US workers clearly see the need to save for retirement, but want help.

Actions: While participants say they have a goal amount in mind for their retirement savings, many are not on track for meeting self-stated savings targets.

Assessments: Participants are right when they assume that a greater share of the burden of funding retirement falls on their shoulders. But achieving retirement security is more than a personal responsibility.

Defined contribution plans have played a central role in retirement savings in the US for four decades, but workers still struggle to take full advantage of these powerful saving tools. We think that looking closely at the barriers and understanding the motivations to save and the saving behaviors of participants will shed light on the best path toward maximizing the number of workers who participate and the depth of their participation.