31% of Americans have no retirement savings at all

August 8, 2014: 1:02 PM ET
retirement savings
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

It's no secret that many Americans aren't saving enough for retirement, but a big chunk of households have saved nothing at all.

Nearly a third, or 31% of U.S. adults said they had no savings or pension to help them afford retirement, according to the Federal Reserve Board.

Even more alarming: 19% of those very close to retirement age, between the ages of 55 and 64, said they had no savings.

As a result, more than half of these respondents said they planned to either work full-time or part-time during their retirement years.

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Meanwhile, a quarter of those surveyed said they didn't know how they would afford their golden years.

A big part of the problem: many low- and middle-income households "have little financial cushion at all" and often lack even basic emergency savings, the Fed survey found.

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Plus, around half of workers and the majority of part-time workers don't receive retirement benefits at work, making it even harder to save.

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The Federal Reserve Board survey, which took place last year, polled more than 4,000 working and retirement-age Americans on everything from retirement savings to student loan debt.