Only 23% of women surveyed said they are very confident that they will be able to live a comfortable lifestyle in retirement, Transamerica found in its eighth annual retirement survey. The percentage of women who are very confident remains at the same level of 2004.

In addition, the number of women participating in their 401(k) has dropped from 76% in 2004 to 70% last year, while the median contribution rate has remained at 6%.

A further indication of problems for women in retirement in the years ahead is 42% of women saying they are not sure how much they will need to save for retirement, up from 11% in 2004.

Nonetheless, 46% said that 401(k)s and IRAs will be their primary source of income, with 73% citing 401(k)s and other types of self-funded retirement plans as very important benefits.

Fifty-eight percent said that they would choose a job with superior retirement benefits at their minimum salary requirements over one paying more but with a less robust retirement plan.

In addition, 49% of those who don’t have a 401(k) or other retirement plan available to them said they would very likely leave that job for one that does, up from 28% in 2004.

“One of the keys to success in saving for retirement is consistently saving over a long period of time to enjoy the benefits of compounding,” said Catherine Collinson, a market trends expert with the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies.

Harris Interactive conducted the survey among 1,402 workers.

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