Recent surveys and anecdotal evidence show that younger workers are finally thinking seriously about saving for retirement.

Or they’re not.

Of the various surveys of worker sentiment published lately, even experts admit that the results have been contradictory. Meanwhile, the actual data show that young workers are contributing in much the same patterns as they have been in the past.

"I think they’re a bit confused, to be charitable," Warren Cormier, president of Boston Research Group, says of younger workers.

Of the surveys that focus on the positive, one nationwide study released last year by New York–based consulting firm Towers Watson reported that fully 56 percent of the respondents under age 30 said that they had tried to calculate how much money they will need to save for a "comfortable retirement" and 47 percent reported that they had reviewed their retirement plans in detail over the past year. Those were significant jumps over the rates of that same age cohort the prior year — 36 percent and 34 percent, respectively. Indeed, according to the survey, the levels are now on a par with those of older workers. (The survey involved more than 9,200 people working full-time at nongovernmental organizations with at least 1,000 employees.)

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