Americans' confidence in their ability to afford a comfortable retirement has recovered slightly from the record lows of the past five years, primarily among those participating in retirement plans, but overall their actual preparations for retirement haven't improved, according to a new survey.

The Retirement Confidence Survey, released by the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute in Washington, and co-sponsored by the Principal Financial Group, found that 18 percent of workers said they are now very confident, up from 13 percent in 2013. Retiree confidence has increased even more, with 28 percent saying they are now very confident, up from 18 percent in 2013.

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