Retirement Plan Participation

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on September 10, 2013

“The latest SIPP data from the U.S. Census Bureau show 61 percent of all workers over age 16 had an employer that sponsored a pension or retirement plan for any of its employees in 2012, up from 59 percent in 2009. Workers participating in a plan increased to 46 percent in 2012, up slightly from 2009 (45 percent) but below 2003 (48 percent). The vesting rate (the percentage of workers who say they were entitled to some pension benefit or lump-sum distribution if they left their job) stood at 43 percent in 2012, up from 24 percent in 1979. This increase is largely due to the increased number of workers participating in defined contribution retirement plans (such as 401(k) plans), where employee contributions are immediately vested, and faster vesting requirements in private-sector pension plans. Defined contribution (401(k)-type) plans were considered the primary plan by 78 percent of workers with a plan. Defined benefit (pension) plans were the primary plan for 21 percent of workers.”

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