The percentage of employees reporting financial stress rose in the third quarter, even as fewer reported ignorance about personal money matters and more said they were actively planning for retirement, according to research released Thursday by Financial Finesse.

As employees learn more about how much they need to save for college, retirement and other big-ticket items, they reported more unease about the future. For instance, while more respondents (56 percent) said they had a plan for paying off debt than did so in the same quarter in 2012 (45 percent), the percentage reporting high or overwhelming financial of stress rose from 13 percent a year ago to 19 percent in the third quarter.

More employees are contributing to workplace retirement plans, with the number jumping to 90 percent from 85 percent a year ago. The research found evidence that more workers are planning for retirement. The number who said they had used a retirement calculator was up 10 percentage points to 39 percent year over year.

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