CHICAGO -- Just more than 70% of all employees age 18 and older say they have retirement programs as part of their benefits packages at work, and of those employees 51% have defined contribution plans, according to a new employee survey sponsored by the Profit Sharing/401(k) Council of America.
However, only 27.4% of companies offer defined benefit plans to employees, while 24.5% of firms provide no retirement plans, the survey indicated.
The poll of 1,000 employees -- conducted by Bruskin/Goldring Research -- also revealed that nearly 76% of companies provide retirement plans to full-time employees, but only 42% offer retirement plans to part-time workers. More than half -- 56.5% -- offer defined contribution plans to full-time employees.
Twenty-five percent of the companies have plans but the individuals polled do not know what type they are; while 20.3% are without retirement programs for full-time workers, the study revealed.
About 64% of companies that offer retirement plans offer defined contribution plans to employees earning $50,000 or more; 58.6% provide defined contribution plans to workers earning between $40,000 and $50,000; 48.6% for employees earning between $30,000 and $40,000; 51% for workers earning between $20,000 and $30,000; and 20.8% for employees earning less than $20,000, the survey results indicated.
The survey also revealed that 51.1% of all employees and 56.5% of full-time workers were eligible for defined contribution plans. Of those eligible, 86% of all workers and 87% of full-time employees participated in those plans.
Although this is the first time the Chicago-based council has conducted a survey of 1,000 individuals using a random sample of all households in the continental United States that have telephones, the results confirm what the organization found in last summer's survey of 609 plans of companies with 100 employees or more, said David Wray, PSCA president.
That study found that 87.4% of companies with more than 100 employees sponsor some type of retirement plan.
Of those firms, the number of 401(k) plans offered increased to about 55,000 in 1998, up from 28,623 plans in 1994.
As a further comparison, a 401(k) Plan Sponsor Survey of senior human resources or financial executives from about 800 organizations employing 100 people or more that sponsor 401(k) plans by Spectrem Group, Windsor, Conn., indicated that 267,000 companies had 401(k) plans, up from 228,000 two years earlier. Spectrem analysts projected that by 2003, about 358,000 companies would offer such retirement plans. The average participation rate in 1997 was just less than 80%.
Active participation in 401(k) plans increased to 25 million in 1997, up from 22 million in 1995, according to the Spectrem survey.
However, most of the plans were provided by the largest companies, the survey showed.