Key employees are optimistic about their retirement savings in 2012, but they aren't optimistic about the economy, according to new research from the Principal Financial Group.

Most of the employees who were interviewed said they plan to increase or maintain contributions to their employer's nonqualified deferred compensation plan in the coming year. Of those planning to increase contributions, 78 percent said they believe in the success of their employer. That was an increase of 14 percentage points from the 2010 survey.

The survey, conducted with the Boston Research Group, targeted workers participating in nonqualified deferred compensation retirement plans.

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