Interest, Access Linked for Retirement Plans

Nearly three out of four workers likely to be focused on retirement savings have access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan, according to an updated study released by the Investment Company Institute.

The study, titled “Who Gets Retirement Plans and Why,” covers data gathered during 2012, a year in which 74% of workers in categories likely to be focused on saving for retirement had the option to do so through either a defined benefit (DB) or defined contribution (DC) plan provided by their own workplace or through a spouse’s employer.

Survey researchers measured participation among those with access to DC or DB plans at 93%. Results also suggest a strong link between an employee’s savings goals and the likelihood that he or she will work for an employer that sponsors a retirement plan of some type.

Other topics covered by the study include qualitative analysis of the reasons why workers save. Among younger and lower-income households, workers are more likely to save to fund education, purchase a home or other significant expenses, or maintain emergency cash on hand. Older and higher-earning households are more likely to save primarily for retirement.

Among all workers age 21 to 64, the rate of access to employer sponsored plans is 50%. That percentage increases when selecting for older subsets of the population. Access among workers age 30 to 64, for example, is 60%.

A full copy of the 2012 study is available here.