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Pension Coverage: Examining CPS Data

16 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2001  

Craig Copeland

Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI)


Annual estimates of pension coverage for wage and salary workers are not well documented. Two supplements to the U.S. Census Bureau's Current Population Survey (CPS)--one conducted annually in March and the other every other year in February--include questions pertaining to pension coverage. These surveys ask different questions, and neither examines pension plan types (defined benefit or defined contribution). However, they provide some insight into overall pension coverage on an annual basis across various demographic and employer characteristics. This article uses both CPS supplements to estimate pension coverage for all wage and salary workers. The March 1993-1999 surveys provide pension coverage estimates across various demographic and employer categories. The February surveys from 1995, 1997, and 1999 provide overall pension coverage estimates as well as data on why a worker is not covered (ineligible versus choosing not to participate) when working for an employer that sponsors a plan.

The PDF for the above title, published in the September 2000 issue of EBRI Notes, also contains the fulltext of another September EBRI Notes article abstracted on SSRN: "Prescription Drugs: Continued Rapid Growth."

Keywords: Employment-based benefits, Pension plan coverage

JEL Classification: J26, J3

Suggested Citation

Copeland, Craig mname, Pension Coverage: Examining CPS Data. EBRI Notes, Vol. 21, No. 9, September 2000. Available at SSRN:

Craig Copeland (Contact Author)

Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) ( email )

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