Study Links Savings Goals and Retirement Plan Access

September 27, 2012 ( – Most workers who are likely to be focused on retirement savings have access to an employer-provided retirement plan, according to a study by the Investment Company Institute.

By PLANSPONSOR staff | September 27, 2012
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In 2011, nearly three-quarters of workers most likely to be focused on saving for retirement had access to a retirement plan—including defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) plans—through their own employer or their spouse’s employer, and 93% of those with access participated.  

The study, “Who Gets Retirement Plans and Why, 2011,” finds a link between the savings goals of employees and the likelihood that they work for an employer who sponsors a retirement plan. When asked the primary reason they save, younger and lower-income households are typically focused on saving to fund education, to purchase a house, to fund other purchases, or to have emergency cash on hand. They are less likely to cite retirement as the primary reason they save.   

In contrast, older and higher-earning workers are more likely to save primarily for retirement. Consistent with these savings preferences, groups of workers who are more focused on saving for retirement are also much more likely to work for an employer that offers a plan.