BLS Survey Shows DC Plans Far From Reaching Market Saturation

November 11, 2004 ( - Statistics released regarding private industry benefits shows that only 53% of workers had access to defined contribution (DC) plans in March, signaling that the 401(k) industry has a ways to go before it saturates the marketplace.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) numbers show that although 53% of employees have access to DC plans, only 42% choose to participate by contributing funds as of March. The number of employees participating in DC plans doubled those in defined benefit (DB) plans, where only 21% of workers are covered. Some employees, however, participate in both types of plans.

The numbers covered by other types of benefits also indicate that universal medical coverage is far from reality for most of the private sector. Sixty-nine percent of employees in this sector had access to medical care in March, with 53% participating in medical care plans. For those in plans, the average monthly medical care premium was $264.59 for family coverage, and $67.57 for an individual.

Life insurance coverage was also far from the norm in the private sector as of March, with only 51% of workers having access to such policies. However, participation rates were high, with over nine out of 10 employees who were offered such coverage opting to accept it.

Short-term and long-term disability benefits were offered to 39% and 30% of private sector workers, respectively, as of March. According to the BLS, almost all of those employees offered such benefits opted to accept them.

For the full report, please see .