Publication Date

9-8-2008

Abstract

[Excerpt] According to the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (CPS), the number of private-sector workers between the ages of 25 and 64 whose employer sponsored a retirement plan rose from 51.2 million in 2006 to 53.5 million in 2007. The number of private-sector workers who participated in employer-sponsored retirement plans rose from 42.0 million in 2006 to 44.1 million in 2007. The proportion of 25 to 64 year-old workers in the private sector who participated in employer-sponsored retirement plans increased from 43.2% in 2006 to 45.1% in 2007. Between 2000 and 2007, the number of private-sector workers between the ages of 25 and 64 who participated in employer-sponsored retirement plans fell from 46 million to 44 million. The percentage of workers who participated in an employer-sponsored plan fell from 50.3% in 2000 to 45.1% in 2007.

A CRS analysis of the Current Population Survey indicates that, among private-sector workers aged 25 to 64 who were employed year-round, full-time:

-The percentage of workers whose employer sponsored a retirement plan rose from 57.2% in 2006 to 59.9% in 2007.

-The percentage of workers who participated in employer-sponsored retirement plans rose from 49.2% in 2006 to 52.0% in 2007.

-Only 25.5% of workers at firms with fewer than 25 employees participated in an employer-sponsored retirement plan in 2007, compared to 45.5% of workers at firms with 25 to 99 employees and 65.4% of workers at firms with 100 or more employees.

-Among men and women who were employed year-round, full-time, 51.6% of men and 52.6% of women participated in an employer-sponsored retirement plan in 2007.

-Only 43.0% of private-sector workers aged 25 to 34 and employed year round, full-time participated in an employer-sponsored retirement plan in 2007, compared to 51.8% of workers aged 35 to 44, 57.4% of those aged 45 to 54, and 57.6% of those aged 55 to 64.

-Black, Hispanic, and other non-white workers were less likely to have participated in an employer-sponsored retirement plan. Fifty-eight percent of white workers participated in a company-sponsored retirement plan in 2007, compared to 47.1% of black non-Hispanic workers, 30.6% of Hispanic workers, and 48.5% of other non-white workers (mainly Asian-American and Native American workers).

-Only 27.7% of workers whose earnings were in the lowest quartile in 2007 (under $27,000) participated in a retirement plan at work, compared to 69.2% of workers whose earnings were in the top quartile (above $63,000).

-The percentage of part-time workers in the private sector whose employer sponsored a retirement plan rose from 37.8% in 2006 to 38.3% in 2007. Twenty-three percent of part-year or part-time workers in the private sector participated in an employer sponsored retirement plan in 2007, essentially unchanged from 2006.

Comments

Purcell, P. (2008). Pension sponsorship and participation: Summary of recent trends (RL30122). Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service. http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/key_workplace/543/

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