Retirement saving is not a high priority in 2012, with many competing financial pressures taking precedence, according to PwC’s Financial Wellness Survey. The survey tracks the financial and retirement well-being of working American adults. The 2012 survey polled 1,700 full-time or self-employed adults.

What it found is that employee stress levels related to financial issues are on the rise and cash flow continues to be the top financial concern of most workers.

It also found that meeting expenses on time and debt issues remain a challenge for 2012.

“Competing financial issues are pressuring employees to deprioritize retirement funding by saving less or in some cases, not saving at all,” said Kent Allison, a Partner & National Practice Leader in PwC’s Financial Education practice. “Employees are being forced to extinguish more immediate fires – such as making a monthly credit card payment or paying a child’s college tuition – over retirement saving, which from a long-term perspective is highly risky behavior that can leave employees severely underfunded for retirement as they deal with increased longevity and rising healthcare costs down the road.”

And even though more people are putting some money away for their retirement, retirement confidence is eroding. Of those who are saving a large percentage believe they will need to use their retirement funds for other expenses and many employees nearing retirement are unprepared. PwC found that more than half of respondents plan to push off retirement.

The survey also found that employees are still uncomfortable making investment decisions and they do not have all of their estate planning documents in place.

PwC’s Financial Education and Saratoga practices work with clients to design and deliver customized financial wellness programs tailored to employee needs and specific company objectives.