While U.S. generation Z workers want to retire at age 61, 99 per cent of these employees say they’re facing obstacles to saving for a comfortable retirement, a nine per cent increase from 2022, according to a new survey by Charles Schwab & Co. Inc.

The survey, which polled 1,000 401(k) plan participants, found the No. 1 obstacle cited by gen Z employees was inflation (54 per cent), followed by monthly expenses (35 per cent) and unexpected expenses (31 per cent).

A quarter (26 per cent) of gen Zers said financial stress has impacted their ability to do their job, followed closely by millennials (22 per cent), while generation X (15 per cent) and baby boomers (10 per cent) reported a much lower impact.

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The report also found 71 per cent of gen Zers said their employer took steps to support their financial wellness and work-life balance, including measures such as increases to pay (31 per cent), increases to the 401(k) match (25 per cent), increases to current benefits (23 per cent), additional bonuses (19 per cent) and decreased hours (17 per cent).

“It’s great that employers are already playing such a big role in helping workers manage financial stress,” said Marci Stewart, director of communications consulting and participant education at Charles Schwab, in a press release. “Employers should continue to focus on areas that are challenging workers the most when it comes to financial wellness and retirement saving. It can go a long way toward helping to boost retention and slow job hopping among younger workers.”

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