Archive for 'ING Group'

Planning for Retirement? Get Some Help

Capital One

Retirement Planning (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Getting older may not be easy, but taking a back seat with your retirement plan could lead to a destiny that is more glum than golden. A new survey from Capital One ShareBuilder reveals that while a majority (54 percent) of Americans plan to retire by age 65, many (36 percent) are not actively contributing to a retirement plan, and more than a quarter (26 percent) are unsure how much they need to save. The survey of American pre-retirees found that while confidence in the ability to save for retirement has improved (with 33 percent claiming to be more confident than they were a year ago), nearly one in four (23 percent) are concerned they may never save enough to retire.

“Now more than ever, it is important for Americans to take their retirement plans into their own hands to ensure they have an adequate nest egg,” said Dan Greenshields, president of Capital One ShareBuilder, Inc. “While planning for a time that many see as a distant future can be a daunting task, people need to assess where they want and expect to be financially when they retire and take advantage of the various tools and resources available to plan for their financial future.”

Retirement Timing and Lifestyle: When and how do Americans plan to retire?

  • More than half (54 percent) of Americans plan to retire by age 65, while 23 percent say they don’t plan to ever fully retire.
  • One in four (25 percent) Americans plan to work part-time during their retirement, and that percentage increases closer to retirement age, with 40 percent of Americans age 55-64 saying they’ll work part-time.
  • A third (33 percent) of Americans plan to maintain their current lifestyle, while 17 percent plan to make sacrifices and 11 percent plan to improve their lifestyle; 38 percent said they are unsure of what lifestyle they plan to lead.

Roadblocks to Retirement Savings: What’s keeping Americans from saving?

  • Paying for college tuition (20 percent), job loss (10 percent) and daily household bills (14 percent) are the top roadblocks for retirement savings, according to respondents.
  • Only just over one third (37 percent) of Americans say nothing has impeded their ability to save for retirement.

“At any point in life, events can come up where even the best laid financial plans can be derailed,” Greenshields said. “Having an adequate emergency or rainy day fund will help ease the financial burden of unexpected costs – and help keep you on track for retirement.”

The ING DIRECT Orange Savings Account, which can be directly linked to your ShareBuilder account, boasts features including automatic savings functionality and a My Savings Goals tool designed to help build a financial cushion, so you won’t need to dip into or cease contributing to your retirement savings.

Facing Retirement with an Arsenal of Tools:

One thing is for certain – money doesn’t grow on trees. While forty percent of older Americans plan to work part time in retirement, the reality of retirement requires a substantial and realistic nest egg. In preparing for the years ahead, experts agree steps need to be taken for the 26 percent of Americans who are not sure or do not have a retirement plan.

ShareBuilder by Capital One offers solutions that can help investors get their retirement plan on track:

  • Twenty-two percent of Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 report not knowing how much they will need to retire. RetireMyWay can help you create a personal and customizable map of the retirement they are seeking and how to get there financially.
  • ShareBuilder’s Portfolio Builder is a simple, low-cost tool to help you build a diversified portfolio that aligns with your risk tolerance and work toward your long-term goals.
  • ShareBuilder offers a no-fee IRA1, which is a great low-cost option to either get started or roll over an old 401K or IRA to.

Survey Methodology

The national phone survey was conducted within the United States by TNS on behalf of Capital One ShareBuilder from September 26 through 30, 2012 among 1,000 adults age 18+. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated; a full methodology is available.

About ShareBuilder by Capital One

Capital One ShareBuilder, Inc., is a leading online brokerage for investors who have long-term financial goals and want to say goodbye to investing complexity. Whether you’re a seasoned investor or just getting started, ShareBuilder by Capital One has what Americans need to help secure their financial future without sacrificing their lives to the stock market. No minimum balance required when you open an account and pay low commissions when investing. Trade when you want, any amount you want, and what you want — stocks, exchange-traded funds, mutual funds, options and retirement solutions.

1 For complete information, see pricing and rates.

Diversification does not guarantee a profit or protect against market losses.

Securities products are offered by Capital One ShareBuilder, Inc., a registered broker-dealer and member FINRA/SIPC. Capital One ShareBuilder, Inc. is a subsidiary of Capital One, N.A. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Banking Services are provided by ING Direct, a division of Capital One, N.A., member FDIC.

ING Direct is now a division of Capital One, N.A. ING Bank, fsb, and its subsidiaries, including ShareBuilder Corporation, have been acquired by Capital One Financial Corporation and are no longer affiliated with ING Groep N.V.  (“ING”). The trademarks ING, ING DIRECT, ING Lion, and the ING Lion logo, alone or as a part of any trademark logo, work or domain name are trademarks of ING and are used by permission.

Securities products are: Not FDIC insured – Not Bank guaranteed – May lose value

Web Site: http://www.sharebuilder.com

ING Prime Rate Trust (Trust), a diversified closed-end management investment company listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: PPR), has announced today its intention to redeem the remaining portion of its outstanding auction-rate preferred shares (ARPS). The Trust’s Board of Trustees has approved a redemption that will be paid primarily by drawing on leverage available under the Trust’s credit facilities. The redemption would provide liquidity at par for the holders of the remaining ARPS.

The Trust expects to redeem approximately $25 million of the ARPS currently outstanding, approximately 100% by series, subject to satisfying the notice and other requirements that apply to ARPS redemptions. Upon completion of such notice and other requirements, the Trust will issue a formal redemption notice to the paying agent and record holders. The Trust expects to issue a formal redemption notice by the third week of November and anticipates that the redemption of the $25 million of ARPS will be completed by mid- to late December 2011.

In December 2009, the Trust announced its intention to redeem up to $100 million of the $225 million ARPS then outstanding, through a series of four quarterly periodic redemptions of up to $25 million each.  In September 2010, the Trust’s Board of Trustees approved the continuation of the program for quarterly redemptions of the outstanding ARPS of the Trust in amounts of up to $25 million each quarter subject to management’s discretion to modify or cancel the program at any time. The amount and timing of subsequent redemptions of ARPS will be at the discretion of the Trust’s Board of Trustees and management, subject to market conditions and investment considerations.

The Depository Trust Company (DTC) will determine how partial series redemptions will be allocated among each participant broker-dealer account. Each participant broker-dealer, as nominee for its customers who are beneficial owners of the ARPS (street name shareholders), in turn will determine how redeemed shares are to be allocated among its customers. The procedures used by broker-dealers to allocate redeemed shares among beneficial owners may differ from each other as well as from the procedures used by DTC.

SHAREHOLDER INQUIRIES: ING Funds Shareholder Services at (800) 992-0180

Certain statements made on behalf of the Trust in this release may be considered forward-looking statements. The Trust’s actual future results may differ significantly from those anticipated in any forward-looking statements due to numerous factors, including but not limited to a decline in value in markets in general or the Trust’s investments specifically. Neither the Trust nor ING undertakes any responsibility to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statement.

ING Investment Management (ING IM) is a leading U.S.-based active asset management firm. As of September 30, 2011, ING IM manages approximately $163 billion for both institutions and individual investors. ING IM has the experience and resources to invest responsibly across asset classes, geographies and investment styles. Through our global asset management network, we provide clients with access to domestic, regional and global investment solutions.

With an emphasis on active management, our investment mission is to find unrecognized value ahead of consensus. To this end, our portfolio management teams seek original insights on markets and securities and a vision of investment potential that differs from the consensus view. We apply our proprietary research and analytics, portfolio diagnostics and risk management to the development of investment solutions in pursuit of our clients’ objectives. We believe this is best achieved by structuring our investment platforms as entrepreneurial, skills-based strategy teams united by shared resources.

ING Investment Management is committed to investing responsibly and delivering client-oriented investment solutions and advisory services across asset classes, geographies and styles. We serve a variety of institutional clients, including public, corporate and union retirement plans, endowments and foundations, and insurance companies, as well as individual investors via intermediary distribution partners such as banks, broker/dealers and independent financial advisers.

CONTACT: Dana Ripley, dana.ripley@us.ing.com, +1-770-980-4865

Capital One (NYSE: COF) Puts Up 40 Million Shares

Capital One (NYSE: COF) Puts Up 40 Million Shares-Image by Robert Scoble via Flickr

Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE: COF) today announced that it has priced a public offering of 40 million shares of its common stock at a per share price of $50.00, which will be subject to the forward sale agreements described below. Barclays Capital, Morgan Stanley, BofA Merrill Lynch and J.P. Morgan are acting as book-running managers for the offering. Capital One also has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase an additional 6 million shares of common stock from Capital One at the same price to cover any over-allotments. Any shares purchased pursuant to the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares are not subject to the forward sale agreements. The offering is expected to close on July 19, 2011, subject to customary closing conditions. Capital One intends to use the net proceeds received upon settlement of the forward sale agreements and any exercise of the over-allotment option to fund a portion of its previously announced acquisition of ING Direct.

In connection with the offering of its common stock, Capital One entered into forward sale agreements with Barclays Capital and Morgan Stanley, whom we refer to as the forward purchasers. The forward purchasers or their affiliates have agreed to borrow and sell to the public, through the underwriters, shares of Capital One’s common stock. The settlement of the forward sale agreements is expected to occur no later than approximately seven months following the date of the common stock offering. Capital One expects to settle the forward sale agreements entirely by the physical delivery of shares of its common stock unless, subject to certain conditions, it elects cash or net share settlement for all or a portion of its obligations under the forward sale agreements.

The public offering is being made pursuant to an effective shelf registration statement that has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). A preliminary prospectus supplement related to the offering will be filed with the SEC and will be available on the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov. Copies of the prospectus supplement and the base prospectus relating to these securities may be obtained from (i) Barclays Capital Inc. by calling 1-888-603-5847, by mail at Barclays Capital Inc. c/o Broadridge Financial Solutions, 1155 Long Island Avenue, Edgewood, NY 11717 or by e-mail, at Barclaysprospectus@broadridge.com, or (ii) Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, by calling 1-866-718-1649, by mail at Morgan Stanley Prospectus Department, 180 Varick Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10014, Attention: Prospectus Dept., or by e-mail at prospectus@morganstanley.com, Telephone: (866) 718-1649.

This press release is neither an offer to sell nor a solicitation of an offer to buy any of the common stock or any other security of Capital One, nor shall there be any sale of the common stock in any jurisdiction in which such an offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction.

Forward-looking statements

The company cautions that its current expectations in this release dated July 13, 2011, and the company’s plans, objectives, expectations, and intentions, are forward-looking statements which speak only as of the date hereof. The company does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any of the information contained herein whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Actual results could differ materially from current expectations due to a number of factors, including, but not limited to: general economic conditions in the U.S., the U.K., Canada or the company’s local markets, including conditions affecting consumer income, confidence, spending, and savings which may affect consumer bankruptcies, defaults, charge-offs, deposit activity, and interest rates; financial, legal, regulatory, tax or accounting changes or actions, including the impact of the Dodd-Frank Act and the regulations promulgated thereunder; developments, changes or actions relating to any litigation matter involving the company; increases or decreases in interest rates; the success of the company’s marketing efforts in attracting or retaining customers; changes in the credit environment; increases or decreases in the company’s aggregate loan balances or the number of customers and the growth rate and composition thereof; the level of future repurchase or indemnification requests the company may receive, the actual future performance of mortgage loans relating to such requests, the success rates of claimants against the company, any developments in litigation and the actual recoveries the company may make on any collateral relating to claims against it; changes in the reputation of or expectations regarding the financial services industry or the company with respect to practices, products, or financial condition; any significant disruption in the company’s operations or technology platform; the company’s ability to execute on its strategic and operational plans; changes in the labor and employment market; competition from providers of products and services that compete with the company’s businesses; the possibility that regulatory and other approvals and conditions to the ING Direct acquisition are not received or satisfied on a timely basis or at all; the possibility that modifications to the terms of the ING Direct acquisition may be required in order to obtain or satisfy such approvals or conditions; changes in the anticipated timing for closing the ING Direct acquisition; difficulties and delays in integrating the company’s and ING Direct’s businesses or fully realizing projected cost savings and other projected benefits of the ING Direct acquisition; business disruption during the pendency of or following the ING Direct acquisition; the inability to sustain revenue and earnings growth; changes in interest rates and capital markets; diversion of management time on issues related to the ING Direct acquisition; and changes in asset quality and credit risk as a result of the ING Direct acquisition. A discussion of these and other factors can be found in the company’s annual report and other reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, but not limited to, the company’s report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2010.

About Capital One

Capital One Financial Corporation (www.capitalone.com) is a financial holding company whose subsidiaries, which include Capital One, N.A. and Capital One Bank (USA), N.A., had $126.1 billion in deposits and      $199.8 billion in total assets outstanding as of June 30, 2011. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One offers a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients. Capital One, N.A. has approximately 1,000 branch locations primarily in New York, New Jersey, Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. A Fortune 500 company, Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “COF” and is included in the S&P 100 index.

http://www.capitalone.com

J&J (NYSE: JNJ) Closes Deal With Cruell N.V.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) and Crucell N.V. (NYSE Euronext, Nasdaq: CRXL; Swiss Exchange: CRX) today announced that following the end of the subsequent offering period (na-aanmeldingstermijn, Subsequent Offering Period), Johnson & Johnson has acquired 98.89% of the issued Shares in Crucell N.V. (Crucell) (which includes treasury shares held by Crucell) and 98.93% of the issued and outstanding Shares in Crucell.

Reference is made to the joint press release of Johnson & Johnson and Crucell dated 8 December 2010 announcing the recommended cash offer by Johnson & Johnson, through its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, JJC Acquisition Company B.V. (the Offeror) for all of the issued and outstanding ordinary shares (Ordinary Shares) in the capital of Crucell, including all Ordinary Shares represented by American depositary shares (ADSs), each ADS representing one Ordinary Share (Ordinary Shares and ADSs are referred to herein as the Shares and the holders of such Shares are referred to as the Shareholders) at an offer price of euro 24.75 per Share (the Offer). On 22 February 2011 Johnson & Johnson declared the Offer unconditional.

Subsequent Offering Period

The Subsequent Offering Period expired, as scheduled, at 17:45 Dutch Time (11:45 New York Time) on 8 March 2011.  The Shares tendered for acceptance under the Offer during the Subsequent Offering Period by Shareholders other than members of the Johnson & Johnson group amount to 3,352,422 Shares (including 222,103 represented by ADSs), representing 3.78% of the issued share capital of Crucell (which includes treasury shares held by Crucell).  All Shares that were validly tendered (or defectively tendered provided that such defect has been waived by the Offeror), on the terms and subject to the conditions and restrictions of the Offer, during the Subsequent Offering Period have been accepted for payment.  As of the end of the Subsequent Offering Period 87,791,419 Shares are held by or tendered to the Offeror, representing 98.89% of the issued share capital of Crucell (which includes treasury shares held by Crucell).

Delisting, Deregistration and Termination of Reporting Obligations

Crucell intends to delist the Ordinary Shares on Euronext Amsterdam (Euronext) and the Swiss Exchange (SIX) and the ADSs on the NASDAQ Global Market Select (NASDAQ) as soon as reasonably practicable under applicable law and stock exchange rules and regulations.  Accordingly, Crucell intends to file a Form 25 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to effect the delisting of the ADSs from NASDAQ.  Crucell intends to file a Form 15F with the SEC to deregister and terminate its reporting obligations under the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.  Crucell intends to delist the Ordinary Shares on Euronext and SIX after the Form 15F is filed.  Crucell reserves the right to delay or withdraw for any reason the filing of the Form 25 and Form 15F or the delisting on Euronext and/or SIX.

Statutory Buy-Out Proceedings

As the Offeror holds at least 95% of the Shares (excluding treasury shares held by Crucell), the Offeror intends to acquire the remaining Shares by means of buy-out proceedings (uitkoopprocedure) in accordance with article 2:92a and/or 359c of the Dutch Civil Code, to be initiated as soon as reasonably practicable. Further details will follow as circumstances require.

Additional Information

This joint press release is issued pursuant to the provisions of Section 17 paragraph 4 of the Dutch Decree on Public Takeover Bids (Besluit openbare biedingen Wft).

On 8 December 2010, the Offeror commenced the Offer to acquire all of the issued and outstanding Ordinary Shares in the capital of Crucell, including all Ordinary Shares represented by ADSs, on the terms and subject to the conditions and restrictions contained in the Offer Document dated 8 December 2010 (the Offer Document).  Shareholders who accepted the Offer and tendered Ordinary Shares will be paid, on the terms and subject to the conditions and restrictions contained in the Offer Document, the Offer Price in consideration of each Ordinary Share.  Shareholders who accepted the Offer and tendered ADSs will be paid, on the terms and subject to the conditions and restrictions contained in the Offer Document, an amount equal to the U.S. dollar equivalent of the Offer Price, calculated by using the spot market exchange rate for the U.S. dollar against the Euro on the date on which funds are received by Computershare Trust Company, N.A. to pay for ADSs upon completion of the Offer, in consideration of each ADS.  The Offer was declared unconditional by Johnson & Johnson on February 22, 2011 and the Subsequent Offering Period expired at 17:45 Dutch Time (11:45 New York Time) on 8 March 2011.  This press release is neither an offer to purchase nor a solicitation of an offer to sell shares of Crucell, nor shall there be any sale or purchase of securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction.  The Offer is being made pursuant to the tender offer statement on Schedule TO (including the Offer Document, a related ADS letter of transmittal and tender and proxy form, and other relevant materials) filed by the Offeror with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on 8 December 2010.

SHAREHOLDERS OF CRUCELL ARE URGED TO READ THESE AND OTHER DOCUMENTS FILED WITH THE SEC CAREFULLY IN THEIR ENTIRETY BECAUSE THEY CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE OFFER.  Copies of Johnson & Johnson’s filings with the SEC may be obtained at the SEC’s web site (www.sec.gov) or by directing a request to Johnson & Johnson at Johnson & Johnson, One Johnson & Johnson Plaza, New Brunswick, NJ 08933, U.S.A. (Attention: Corporate Secretary’s Office).  The Offer Document is available free of charge on the website of Crucell at www.crucell.com.  Hard copies of the Offer Document will also be available at the offices of Crucell at Archimedesweg 4-6, 2333 CN Leiden, the Netherlands; at the offices of the Dutch Settlement Agent, ING Bank N.V., Bijlmerdreef 888 1102 MG Amsterdam, the Netherlands (Attention: Sjoukje Hollander/Remko Los), telephone: + 31 20 563 6546 / + 31 20 563 6619, email: iss.pas@ing.nl); and at the offices of the U.S. Settlement Agent, Computershare Trust Company, N.A., 250 Royall Street, Canton, MA 02021.

About Crucell

Crucell N.V. (NYSE Euronext, Nasdaq: CRXL; Swiss Exchange: CRX) is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on research development, production and marketing of vaccines, proteins and antibodies that prevent and/or treat infectious diseases. In 2010 alone, Crucell distributed more than 105 million vaccine doses in more than 100 countries around the world. Crucell is one of the major suppliers of vaccines to UNICEF and the developing world. Crucell was the first manufacturer to launch a fully-liquid pentavalent vaccine. Called Quinvaxem®, this innovative combination vaccine protects against five important childhood diseases. Over 180 million doses have been sold since its launch in 2006 in more than 50 GAVI countries. With this innovation, Crucell has become a major partner in protecting children in developing countries. Other products in Crucell’s core portfolio include a vaccine against hepatitis B and a virosome-adjuvanted vaccine against influenza. Crucell also markets travel vaccines, such as an oral anti-typhoid vaccine, an oral cholera vaccine and the only aluminum-free hepatitis A vaccine on the market. Crucell has a broad development pipeline, with several product candidates based on its unique PER.C6® production technology. Crucell licenses its PER.C6® technology and other technologies to the biopharmaceutical industry. Important partners and licensees include Johnson & Johnson, DSM Biologics, sanofi-aventis, Novartis, Pfizer/Wyeth, GSK, CSL and Merck & Co. Crucell is headquartered in Leiden, the Netherlands, with offices in China, Indonesia, Italy, Korea, Malaysia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, the USA and Vietnam. Crucell employs over 1300 people. For more information, please visit www.crucell.com.

About Johnson & Johnson

Caring for the world, one person at a time…inspires and unites the people of Johnson & Johnson. We embrace research and science – bringing innovative ideas, products and services to advance the health and well-being of people. Our approximately 114,000 employees at more than 250 Johnson & Johnson companies work with partners in health care to touch the lives of over a billion people every day throughout the world.

Forward-looking statements

(This press release contains “forward-looking statements”. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current expectations of future events. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results could vary materially from Johnson & Johnson’s and Crucell’s expectations and projections. Risks and uncertainties include general industry conditions and competition; general domestic and international economic conditions, such as interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; technological advances and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approvals; domestic and foreign health care reforms and governmental laws and regulations affecting domestic and foreign operations; and trends toward health care cost containment. In addition, if and when the transaction is consummated, there will be risks and uncertainties related to Johnson & Johnson’s ability to successfully integrate the products and employees of Johnson & Johnson and Crucell as well as the ability to ensure continued performance or market growth of Crucell’s products. A further list and description of these risks, uncertainties and other factors and the general risks associated with the respective businesses of Johnson & Johnson and Crucell can be found in Exhibit 99 of Johnson & Johnson’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended 2 January 2011, and Crucell’s Annual Report/ Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended 31 December 2009, as filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on 7 April 2010, as well as other subsequent filings. Crucell prepares its financial statements under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Copies of these filings are available online at www.sec.gov, www.jnj.com, www.crucell.com or on request from Johnson & Johnson or Crucell. Neither Johnson & Johnson nor Crucell undertakes to update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information or future events or developments.)

For further information please contact:
Crucell N.V. – Media & Investors
Oya Yavuz
Vice President Corporate Communications & Investor Relations
Tel. +31 (0)71 519 7064
ir@crucell.com
www.crucell.com
Johnson & Johnson – Media
Karen Manson Bill Price
Mob. + 32 479 89 47 99 Tel. +1 (732) 524 6623
Mob. +1 (732) 668 3735
Johnson & Johnson – Investors
Louise Mehrotra Stan Panasewicz
Tel. +1 (732) 524 6491 Tel. +1 (732) 524 2524

RELATED LINKShttp://www.jnj.com

U.S. Workers MIA with Retirement Plans-New Survey

U.S. Workers MIA with Retirement Plans-New Survey-Image via Wikipedia

Preparing for retirement is like training for a marathon. It takes dedication, determination and a long-term commitment, along with the right support and resources to complete the race. The ING family of companies in the U.S. (ING), which are leading providers of retirement and life insurance products and title sponsor of the ING New York City Marathon (Nov. 7), today released the results of a nationwide survey of retirement plan participants that underscores how Americans are at a disadvantage when it comes to their own financial marathon.

The survey, commissioned by the ING Retirement Research Institute, confirmed that employer-sponsored retirement plans are incredibly important to the workers who participate in them, but most are not maximizing the savings power of these plans to their full potential. The research found that plan investors often fail to recognize the potential long-term benefits that even a small contribution rate increase can produce in helping them successfully reach their retirement goals.

Americans Admit They Can, Should Be Saving More

ING’s survey clearly indicates that Americans know they are responsible for their retirement, and admit they could be saving more.

According to the findings, a majority of workers (87%) said they could be saving more in their employer-sponsored retirement plan, a savings vehicle they deem critically important to reaching a secure retirement and the foundation of most their retirement savings strategy. In fact, of the 1,000 workplace retirement plan participants surveyed, nearly two-thirds (64%) said their employer-sponsored retirement plan accounts for all or most of their retirement portfolio. However, many participants are not stretching to maximize their contributions when they can. Moreover, they tend to rely on “guesswork” when setting contribution levels, and don’t fully understand the importance and long-term impact of small increases in contribution rates.

“Americans today understand that they shoulder a greater responsibility for securing their own retirement,” said Rob Leary, CEO, ING Insurance U.S. “They also recognize that an employer-sponsored retirement plan is the cornerstone of their efforts to save for retirement. Still, the issue for many workers, made even more urgent in shaky economic times and an era of volatile equity markets, is scrubbing household budgets and, when possible, finding more dollars to save for retirement. Being cost-conscious is certainly important and prudent, but at the same time, people must also find ways to contribute more into their retirement accounts.”

And it’s not like they’re confident in the future of Social Security. In fact, more respondents (51%) think it’s more likely that scientists will clone dinosaurs in their lifetime than it is that Congress will save Social Security, and 77% of those with kids at home say their child is more likely to catch a foul ball in the seats at a baseball game than cash a Social Security check.

ING’s findings suggest that even though workers may acknowledge the retirement saving challenge, it has not necessarily resulted in better saving behaviors, at least not in their employer-sponsored retirement plans. Of those participants not contributing the maximum to their retirement plan, an overwhelming majority (87%) admitted they could afford to increase their annual contribution by 1% of their annual salary; almost six in ten (59%) said they could up their contribution by 3% of salary; and nearly one third (32%) said they could afford a 5% increase.

“The irony is that Americans love raises,” Leary said. “In our survey, most respondents (76%) would prefer even just a slight raise over a shorter commute to work. We recognize that the current economic environment is challenging for most everyone and robust salary increases are currently not the norm; nevertheless, Americans cannot delay giving themselves a retirement raise. A modest increase in your workplace retirement plan contribution rate can go a long way toward ensuring a more financially secure retirement.”

Most Workers Overlook Long-Term Impact of Modest Contribution Rate Increases

ING’s survey also indicated that plan participants lacked a clear understanding of contribution rates and the lifetime value of even small increases.

In fact, for many workers, setting workplace retirement plan contribution rates appeared to be either a guess or a back-of-the-envelope calculation. Very few of those surveyed consulted outside resources in determining their contribution levels. Nearly two-thirds (65%) determined their contribution rate themselves, and one in five (21%) said they “go by gut feeling.”

When asked to estimate the lifetime value of a 2% increase in their contribution rate, only a small percentage could even come close. More often, people miscalculated. Forty percent of respondents underestimated by 50% or more and just about a third (32%) over-estimated by 50% or more.

“After choosing to participate in the plan, the most important decision workers make is setting their contribution rate each year,” said Catherine Smith, CEO, ING U.S. Retirement Services. “However, for too many, participation and contribution rate elections are just another box to check. We need to be more deliberate and take the time to consider things like tax impact, compounding, and the effects of employer matches in making these elections.”

Employer-Sponsored Plans – the Cornerstone of Retirement Savings

For most Americans, understanding and maximizing the use of workplace retirement plans is critical since these plans are not only the cornerstone of their retirement portfolios, but the main vehicle through which they are exposed to and learn about investing.

Nearly half of the plan participants polled (44%) admitted that if they didn’t have a retirement plan at work, they probably wouldn’t be saving for retirement at all. In fact, most respondents (58%) said their employer-sponsored retirement account [401(k), 403(b), or 457] was their first investment and over half (52%) said their plan was the main place they learned about investing.

In addition to offering entry to the investing world, many respondents said that their workplace retirement plan continues to provide critical investment knowledge and insight. Better than two out of five (42%) said all or most of their investment knowledge comes from managing their employer-sponsored retirement account.

They also gave overwhelming credit to their employer for putting them on the right path. In fact, those polled cited their employers as having the most influence in getting them to start saving for retirement, followed by family and friends. Moreover, their employer match was cited by most participants as the most important reason they contribute to their workplace plan. Still, there is clearly room for progress. Over half (55%) agreed that if their employer provided them with more detailed education, they might contribute more to their plan. In fact, better than 7 in 10 (72%) wished their company customized information for their personal situation.

“For many working Americans, an employer-sponsored retirement plan isn’t simply a stepping stone into the investment world, it’s the foundation for their future investing education and financial decision-making,” said Smith. “The lessons learned in managing a workplace retirement plan are critical, and they can make the difference between a long and comfortable retirement and a retirement that falls well short of their dreams and goals.”

ING Retirement Contribution Rate Calculator

To better support Americans as they navigate the retirement landscape, ING has posted an easy-to-use calculator to its website to help demonstrate the potential long-term financial impact of contribution rate changes, including modest increases. The calculator is available to the public at http://ing.us/.

“All of us who are passionate about Americans’ retirement prospects, from investment providers to plan sponsors to the media, must do a better job focusing people on the important impact of their retirement plan elections and arming them to make better decisions,” said Leary. “Ultimately, as a leading provider of retirement products and services, both at the workplace and through financial professionals, ING’s goal is to help make it easier for Americans to grow, protect, and enjoy their savings across all major life stages and financial milestones.”

The national survey of 1,000 workers currently participating in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, such as 401(k), 403(b), or 457 plans, was commissioned by the ING Retirement Research Institute and conducted online by Mathew Greenwald & Associates through the Research Now panel, a panel that includes a large majority of U.S. households. The data were gathered between Sept. 24 and 28, 2010. Quotas were set to get roughly equal samples of those in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s and of men and women. Total data were weighted within each category to reflect U.S. Census statistics of employed individuals. The 95% confidence interval margin of error for the total sample is +/- 3.1%.

About ING

ING is a global financial institution of Dutch origin offering banking, investments, life insurance and retirement services to over 85 million private, corporate and institutional clients in over 40 countries. With a diverse workforce of more than 107,000 people, ING is dedicated to setting the standard in helping our clients manage their financial future.

In the U.S., the ING (NYSE: ING) family of companies offers a comprehensive array of financial services to retail and institutional clients, which includes life insurance, retirement plans, mutual funds, managed accounts, alternative investments, direct banking, institutional investment management, annuities, employee benefits and financial planning. ING holds top-tier rankings in key U.S. markets and serves approximately 30 million customers across the nation. For more information, visit www.ing.US.

Clients should consider the investment objectives, risks, and charges and expenses of mutual funds offered through a retirement plan, carefully before investing. The prospectuses/prospectus summaries/information booklets containing this and other information, can be obtained by contacting your local representative.  Please read the information carefully before investing.

Investments are not guaranteed and are subject to investment risk including the possible loss of principal. The investment return and principal value of the security will fluctuate so that when redeemed, may be worth more or less than the original investment.

Retirement plan funding agreements issued by ING Life Insurance and Annuity Company (“ILIAC”) One Orange Way, Windsor, CT 06095 , which is solely responsible for meeting its obligations. Plan administrative services provided by ILIAC or ING Institutional Plan Services, LLC. Securities distributed by or offered through ING Financial Advisers, LLC (member SIPC) or other broker-dealers with which it has a selling agreement.  All companies are members of the ING family of companies.

SOURCE ING

CONTACT: Dana E. Ripley, ING Insurance U.S.,  Office: 770-980-4865, dana.ripley@us.ing.com, Arielle Densen, Tiller, LLC, Office: 212-358-8515 x. 7, adensen@tillerllc.com

Web Site: http://www.ing.US