A Towers Watson survey finds 45 percent have put away money outside of their current employers' retirement plan but it's not clear the amount saved will cover expenses in old age.

The report, based on an analysis of the triennial Survey of Consumer Finances conducted by the Federal Reserve Board in 2010, found the median amount of retirement savings was $79,300 and the average was $187,100.

About 70 percent of workers were part of a defined contributions retirement plan, while a traditional pension program covered a third. Which type of plan an employer offered made a huge difference in savings. Those in the latter category had a median balance of $164,200 vs. $33,000.

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