Workers Lack Access to Employer Retirement Plans

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A large portion of American workers have no access to employer-sponsored retirement plans, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts.

The independent non-profit found more than 40 percent of full-time private-sector employees do not receive pensions or have the ability to enroll in retirement plans sponsored by their employers.

Also troubling: Less than half of all workers participate in a retirement plan offered by an employer.

Corresponding research by Pew found that workers’ ability to take advantage of employer-sponsored retirement plans is heavily influenced by where they live.

In Wisconsin 70 percent of workers are offered retirement plans by their employers, the highest rate for a state in the nation. Florida has the lowest such rate; only 46 percent of workers have access to such plans. Even within states, there are large variations among workers in different cities.

The survey cited numerous factors that contribute to these disparities, including differences among regional industries, employer size, and worker characteristics such as age and income.

Boosting private saving will be crucial to ensuring that Americans have adequately funded retirements as traditional pensions become more scarce and Social Security faces significant funding challenges.  

Pew recommends state and federal policymakers examine the unique social and economic features of their states to establish policies that will improve and expand access to retirement plans and improve retirement security overall.

External links:
Employer-Based Retirement Plans: Access Varies Greatly (Pew Charitable Trusts)
Saving For Retirement Varies By State and Region (Pew Charitable Trusts)

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