Information Center

How many American workers participate in workplace retirement plans?

07/12/17
Pension Rights Center

Annual figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics help paint a picture of the number of Americans who participate in a retirement plan at work.  Typically in any year only half of workers participate in a retirement plan at work.  In 2018 participation by all civilian workers, full and part-time, was 56 percent.   The information below comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ National Compensation Survey for 2019.

All workers: private-sector, state and local government workers. (139 million full and part-time workers):

Percentage of workers participating in a workplace retirement plan: 56
Percentage of workers participating in a pension plan: 21
Percentage of workers participating in a retirement savings plan: 43
Percentage of all workers participating in a retirement plan who are in a pension plan: 37*

*(29.1 million workers. Pension Rights Center calculations based on NCS data.)

 

Private-sector workers. (120 million full and part-time workers):

Percentage of private-sector workers participating in a workplace retirement plan: 52
Percentage of private-sector workers participating in a pension plan: 12
Percentage of private-sector workers participating in a retirement savings plan: 47
Percentage of private-sector workers participating in a retirement plan who are in a pension plan: 23*

*(14.4 million workers. Pension Rights Center calculations based on NCS data.)

State and local government workers. (19 million full and part-time workers):

Percentage of workers participating in a workplace retirement plan: 83
Percentage of workers participating in a pension plan: 76
Percentage of workers participating in a retirement savings plan: 17
Percentage of state and local government workers participating in a retirement plan who are in a pension plan: 92*

*(14.4 million workers. Pension Rights Center calculations based on NCS data.)

Sources

For data on workers’ access to retirement plans and take up rates, click here.

For data on full and part-time workers click here.

For data on near-retirees, ages 55-64, click here.

< Back

Sign up to receive updates from us:

Do you want to stay up to date on the latest retirement news and recent happenings at PRC?

Sign up to receive emails from us:

Click here >

Support the Pension Rights Center:

In today’s challenging pension environment, our work is more important than ever. Your contribution will help make it possible for the Center to continue its crucial role as a national consumer organization committed to protecting and promoting retirement security.

Donate >