Employment-Based Retirement Plan Participation: Geographic Differences and Trends, 2007
40 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2008
Date Written: October 2008
This paper closely examines the level of participation by workers in public- and private-sector employment-based pension or retirement plans, based on the U.S. Census Bureau's March 2008 Current Population Survey (CPS), the most recent data currently available. Among full-time, full-year wage and salary workers ages 21-64 (those with the strongest connection to the work force), just over 63 percent worked for an employer or union that sponsors a retirement plan, and 55 percent participated in a plan. The paper begins with an overview of retirement plan types and participation in these types of plans. Next, it describes the data used in this study, along with their relative strengths and weaknesses. From these data, results on participation in employment-based retirement plans are analyzed for 2007 across various worker characteristics and those of their employers. The paper then explores retirement plan participation across U.S. geographic regions, including a state-by-state comparison and a comparison of certain consolidated statistical areas (CSAs). In addition to the results for 2007, trends from 1987-2007 in employment-based retirement plan participation are presented across many of the same worker and employer characteristics as used for 2007. The paper concludes with a discussion of this study's findings.
Keywords: Demographics, Employment-based benefits, Pension plan coverage, Pension plan participation
JEL Classification: J33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation