While more people participated in workplace retirement plans in 2012, they made up a slightly lower percentage than the year before, according to a new analysis by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.
Based on the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data for all workers, EBRI found that while the number of people in workplace retirement plans grew to 61.6 million from 61 million in 2011, the percentage of participants dropped to 39.4% from 39.7%.
For full-time wage and salary workers aged 21 to 64, participation rates were higher, at 53.5% overall, with 39.1% in the private sector and 71.5% in the public sector.
The lower participation rates in 2012 could indicate that jobs with fewer benefits were added in 2012, Craig Copeland, EBRI senior research associate, said in an interview, but participation rates for 2013 could show an uptick. “It looks like 2013 might be a better year, but we will have to see,” he said.