ING U.S. Study Sheds Light on Peer Comparison and the Retirement 'State of Savings' in America

  ING U.S. Study Sheds Light on Peer Comparison and the Retirement 'State of
                             Savings' in America

Over 50% would save more if they knew they lagged behind their peers

Interactive map shows state-wide retirement savings levels across country

PR Newswire

WINDSOR, Conn., Dec. 5, 2012

WINDSOR, Conn., Dec. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- According to new research^1 from
the ING Retirement Research Institute, more than half (52%) of the respondents
in an ING U.S. consumer survey said they would be motivated to save more for
retirement if their nest eggs didn't measure up to those of their peers.
Additionally, better than one-quarter (27%) confirmed that the size of their
retirement account was an important attribute for benchmarking themselves
against others—more significant than their material possessions (17%) and
salary (16%).

To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click:

(Photo: )

The urge to compare didn't stop in their golden years, either. Study results
showed that nearly two-out-of-ten people (19%) already in retirement still
want to "keep up with the Joneses" when it comes to their quality of life and
financial independence.

These findings support a growing trend noted by ING U.S. over the past three
years through its pioneering, web-based peer comparison tool, The tool, available to the public at no cost, allows users
to compare themselves to others on a wide range of saving, spending,
investing, debt and personal finance matters. Users create an anonymous
profile by entering some basic information. They can also select categories
such as hobbies, interests and where they live to align even more closely with
their peer set.

"From restaurant reviews to healthcare referrals, consumers are increasingly
scanning the social landscape for peer information and validation," noted
Patrick Kennedy, chief marketing officer for ING U.S. Retirement. "This is
also true for personal finance matters, such as saving for retirement. People
are curious to know how they stack up to their counterparts, and a tool like can provide a helpful benchmark. The data we collect can
also be used to identify savings patterns and trends that support our broader
goal of helping Americans retire in the manner they expect and deserve."

Since debuting in 2009, the site has received over 1.8
million visitors. Approximately 60,000 users answered a combination of
questions that captured their state of residence, their annual household
income, the amount they've saved for retirement and the amount they anticipate
needing to live a comfortable retirement.

Mapping Out the Retirement 'State of Savings' in America

Leveraging this data from its peer comparison tool, ING U.S. developed the ING
State of Savings interactive map, available at This
map provides a state-by-state scan and ranking of how Americans say they are
saving across the country, applying two different formulas.

One formula measures the average amount that residents of each state have
collectively saved for retirement as a percent of their total estimated needs,
with adjustments made for age. This metric is referred to as Savings
Progress. According to the analysis, the following three states ranked the
highest in terms of Savings Progress:

1.Hawaii – residents have saved 51% of their estimated needs for retirement.
2.New York – residents have saved 49% of their estimated needs for
3.Nevada – residents have saved 48% of their estimated needs for retirement.

A second formula measures the average amount that residents of each state have
saved up, as a multiple of their annual household income. This metric is
referred to as Savings Score. According to the analysis, the following three
states ranked highest in terms of Savings Score:

1.New Mexico – residents have saved 4.56 times their annual income.
2.Vermont – residents have saved 4.35 times their annual income.
3.South Carolina – residents have saved 3.78 times their annual income.

Nationally, the average Savings Progress for Americans overall was at 39%,
while the Savings Score was 2.42. For a full list of the rankings and to
access the interactive map, visit

The ING U.S. consumer survey found that over one-third (34%) of Americans
believed where they live has a significant impact on their ability to save for
retirement. This might help to explain, in part, how well a state fared on
the list developed with the web tool data.

"Through this research and analysis, our goal is to offer Americans another
thought-provoking benchmark for retirement savings. No matter how high or low
a certain state is on this list, what ultimately matters is having a plan in
place that meets an individual's own personalized needs," added Kennedy. "For
most people, retirement today has been fundamentally redefined. As the
responsibility to self-fund retirement continues to increase, individuals must
find ways to improve their level of financial education, awareness and

As an industry leader and advocate for retirement education and saving, ING
U.S. is committed to gaining greater insights into the various factors that
affect how people save for retirement. Through research, studies, tools and
work done by the ING Retirement Research Institute, ING U.S. is a resource to
help advance the retirement readiness of working Americans. For more
information or to try these innovative financial awareness tools, visit or

^1 Findings are from a phone-based survey conducted by ORC International and
commissioned by ING U.S. during the period of September 20 – 23, 2012.
Respondents were 1,011 adults 18 years and older. Data were weighted to make
the results representative of the overall U.S. population.

About ING U.S.
ING U.S. constitutes the U.S.-based retirement, investment and insurance
operations ofNetherlands-based ING Groep N.V. (NYSE: ING). In the U.S., the
ING U.S. family of companies offers a comprehensive array of financial
services to retail and institutional clients, includingretirement plans, IRA
rollovers and transfers, stable value, institutional investment management,
mutual funds, alternative investments, life insurance, employee benefits,
fixed and indexed annuities and financial planning. ING U.S. holds top-tier
rankings in key U.S. markets and serves approximately 13 million customers
across the nation. For more information, visit


Contact: Joe Loparco, ING U.S., Office: +1-860-580-2677, Cell:
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.