A rarely talked about but common condition, "mattressitis" is the "urge to withdraw assets intended for retirement and hide them under one's mattress."

As the economy has worsended, so has the condition among U.S. workers. To help employers combat mattressitis, Mercer has launched a new website, FeelBetterAboutRetirement.com.

"Planning for retirement in a volatile and rapidly changing economic environment can be a major challenge, which is why we are proactively addressing our participants´ anxieties with this interactive educational program," says Suzanne Nolan, director of marketing and communications for Mercer´s outsourcing business. "By candidly addressing the challenges that participants can particularly relate to in this economy, we feel that we can improve employee engagement and empower employees to make decisions that are consistent with their financial goals."

The initiative is based on key findings from the 2008 Mercer Workplace Survey, which found 43% of participants lack confidence in their ability to calculate and plan for how much money they may need in retirement.

"While plan sponsors can feel encouraged by the fact that employees still consider saving for retirement a priority, our findings emphasize the need to increase communication to participants about the benefits of maintaining a long-term investment strategy," Nolan says. "Employees consistently report that they rely on employers and their plan administrators more than any other source for information about investing for retirement, and we will continue to support plan sponsors in fulfilling that critical role."

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