BLS Finds Few Workers Covered by Both Pension, DC Plans

January 2, 2002 ( - In 1999, some 48% of employees in private establishments were offered a retirement plan by their employers, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reveals.

However, according to the new National Compensation Survey, of these

  • just over 20% were covered by a defined benefit plan,
  • 36% were offered a defined contribution plan, and
  • a little under 10% of the sample were enrolled in both types of plans

Retirement benefits were offered to about seven out of 10 professional, technical, and related employees, compared with:

  • 45% of clerical and sales, and
  • 42% of blue-collar and service employees

According to the BLS, in 1999, 56% of full time employees were covered by retirement benefits, compared with 21% of part-time workers.

Workers in the smallest establishments were much less likely to be covered by retirement benefits than their counterparts in establishments employing 2,500 workers or more. For example,

· less than a third of workers in establishments with 1 to 49 employees had a retirement plan,
· compared with 81% of workers in establishments with 2,500 or more employees

BLS data also showed that 53% of workers in the Northeast and Midwest were covered by retirement benefits, compared with 47% in the West and 43% in the South.