SOURCE: American Payroll Association

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September 30, 2009 11:22 ET

Most Americans Living Paycheck to Paycheck, Still Contributing to 401(k) According to Survey for American Payroll Association

SAN ANTONIO, TX--(Marketwire - September 30, 2009) - Seventy one percent of American employees are living paycheck to paycheck, according to results released today from the 2009 "Getting Paid In America" survey.

The online survey by the American Payroll Association (APA) asked respondents how difficult it would be to meet their current financial obligations if their paycheck were delayed for a week. Just over 28,000 of the nearly 40,000 respondents (about 71 percent) said they'd find it somewhat difficult or very difficult to pay their bills if their paycheck were delayed for just one week.

"This result confirms Americans are finding it difficult to save money in this tough economy," said Dan Maddux, executive director of the American Payroll Association. "Americans should use free payroll-related benefits such as direct deposit, 401(k) plans and Flexible Spending Accounts to ease savings, reduce tax burden and maximize paychecks."

Surprisingly, even with the high number of people living paycheck to paycheck, Americans are still taking advantage of their company 401(k) benefit plans. Eighty-two percent of survey respondents with access to a 401(k) plan indicated they are still contributing to the retirement fund, with 19 percent indicating they have actually raised their contribution amount since September 2008. An additional 19 percent indicated they lowered their contribution since September 2008.

One of the most important things you can do for your future is develop a strategy and a vehicle for achieving your financial retirement goals," said Tony Tortorella, Vice President of Human Resource Services Sales for Paychex, Inc. "Not only are more companies offering retirement plans, but the addition of features such as auto enrollment make it even easier for employees to participate."

The "Getting Paid In America" survey was held in conjunction with APA's annual public awareness campaign, National Payroll Week (NPW), held annually the week of Labor Day. Nearly 40,000 employees responded to the survey, providing insight into how workers are paid in America. For complete survey results or more information on the National Payroll Week awareness campaign, visit

The American Payroll Association is the nation's leader in payroll education, publications, and training. Visit APA online at

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Mark Coindreau
    American Payroll Association
    (210) 226-4600 x2277
    Email Contact