Americans generally do not put as much into their employer-sponsored retirement plan as they should and many go by instinct in deciding how much to contribute, according to an ING Retirement Research Institute survey.

Rob Leary, the chief executive of ING Insurance U.S., said in a Nov. 5 press release that Americans recognize that an employer-sponsored retirement plan is the cornerstone of their efforts to save for retirement. Still, "the issue for many workers … is scrubbing household budgets and, when possible, finding more dollars to save for retirement."

Eighty-seven percent of consumers surveyed said that they could afford to increase their annual contribution by 1% of their annual salary. Meanwhile, 59% said they could increase it by 3% and 32% said they could afford a 5% increase.

Most workers did not consult any outside sources before setting their contribution levels. Sixty-five percent determined their contribution rate themselves, and 21% said they "go by gut feeling."

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