After two years of record-setting declines in people saving for retirement, a national study finds the situation stabilizing. Dan Houston , president of Principal Financial Group in Des Moines, says the 20th Annual Retirement Confidence Survey shows Americans are again able to sock away money into a retirement plan for their golden years.

Houston says the percentage of workers who say they’re very confident about having enough money for a comfortable retirement is slowly rising. “It had hit an all-time low in 2009 at 13-percent,” Houston says. “That’s risen this year to 16-percent. The second bit of data that came out of this year’s survey, that now 25-percent, one in four, of the workers intend to work into retirement which could have some implications on new college graduates coming into the marketplace.”

Houston says the number of people who are planning ahead is declining. Houston says, “The number of individuals in this country saving for retirement go from 65-percent falling back to 60-percent and there’s a variety of reasons but, more than likely economically driven as to why they’ve chose right now to no longer contribute to their retirement plan.” Houston says there could be a host of factors coming into play as to why people are putting less aside.

“Family members helping out other family members,” Houston says. “You have spouses who may have lost a job. You may have a college graduate that needs a little help because they’re unable to find a job. So there are a variety of reasons. If we were to ask the question a year from now if we continue with this modest upward and to the right economic recovery, I have no doubt that we’ll start to see the savings rates go back to that 65 and 70-percent.”

Houston says they do not have a state-by-state breakdown on statistics, but it appears that white males are doing the best job at saving for retirement. “We do know demographically that the percentage of population that still saves at the highest level is male workers,” Houston says, “female workers and minority workers actually participate less in qualified retirement plans and they tend to save on average less than their Caucasian counterparts.”

The survey shows that confidence in the government, banks and insurers is very low whereas confidence in employers is much higher.