Less Than Half of Private-Industry Workers Participate in Retirement Plans

Only two-thirds of private-industry workers have access to employer-sponsored retirement plans, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

The participation rate for employer-sponsored retirement benefits, which include defined benefit and defined contribution plans, was 54% for civilian workers, 49% for private-industry workers and 81% for state and local government workers, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Sixty-nine percent of civilian workers have access to a retirement plan, 66% of private-industry workers do, and 90% of state and local government workers do. Access to retirement benefits for major occupational groups ranged from 47% for service workers to 84% for management, professional, and related workers.

In addition, access to retirement benefits by establishment size ranged from 53% for workers in establishments with one to 99 workers to 86% for workers in establishments with 100 workers or more.

In the private-sector, 77% of full-time employees have access to retirement plans, while 37% of part-time employees do. Ninety-one percent of union workers have access to a retirement plan, and 64% of non-union workers do.

The data for the Bureau’s “Employee Benefits in the United States March 2016” report are from the National Compensation Survey (NCS), which provides comprehensive measures of compensation cost levels and trends and also provides benefits incidence data on the percentage of workers with access to and participating in employer-provided benefit plans.

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