Nearly three-quarters (74%) of workers likely to be focused on retirement savings had access to an employer-provided defined benefit or defined contribution plan in 2012, according to a study released Thursday by the Investment Company Institute.
The study, “Who Gets Retirement Plans and Why, 2012,” defines workers most likely to be focused on retirement savings as those 30 and older with at least moderate levels of earnings, and all but the lowest-earning workers aged 45 and older.
The ICI study, which updates work done in previous years, also found that private-sector workplace retirement coverage has held steady at 50% since 2009 for all workers aged 21 to 64.
Peter Brady, ICI senior economist and study co-author, cautioned against looking at the overall percentage of workers with access to a retirement plan at work, since some younger or lower-paid workers are likely to have access later in their careers. Among all private-sector workers aged 21 to 64, 50% have employers sponsoring retirement plans. For workers aged 30 to 64, that rises to 60%.
“Focusing on the percentage of the workforce with a retirement plan today vastly underestimates the percentage of workers who will reach retirement having accrued employer-provided retirement benefits. Many more workers will have access to a plan at some point in their career than is indicated by taking a snapshot of coverage at any single point in time,” Mr. Brady said.
The data are from the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' March 2012 Current Population Survey.
The study is available on ICI's website.