Over 30 million workers don’t have access to a retirement plan from their employers
Depending on where you live, you may have less access to a retirement plan from your employer — and that can hurt your nest egg.
Roughly 40% of workers — that’s more than 30 million full-time, private-sector workers ages 18 to 64 — don’t have access to a retirement plan from their employer such as a 401(k), according to a report released Wednesday from The Pew Charitable Trusts.
In some states, the situation is worse than others: In Florida, which has the worst access rate, just 46% of workers could take advantage of a company-sponsored retirement plan (Texas and New Mexico are the only other states with rates of less than 50%). Meanwhile, in Wisconsin, which had the best access rate, 70% have access to a company-sponsored retirement plan.
This matters because access to a retirement plan from your employer predicts participation in the plan, which, in turn, predicts total retirement savings. Fully 85% of workers with access to a plan participate in it, and, not coincidentally, the states with the lowest (Florida) and highest (Wisconsin) access rates to employer-sponsored retirement plans, also had the lowest (38%) and highest (61%) participation rates.
Nearly half of workers say that their savings in their employer-sponsored retirement savings plan will be a “major” source of income for them in retirement, the highest of all the criteria (just 31% of workers, for example, say Social Security will be a major source of retirement income for them), EBRI data shows. Meanwhile, only about one in four workers think their IRA will be a major source of retirement income for them.
Although just because you work at a company that doesn’t offer a retirement plan, doesn’t mean you can’t save or that you’ll be undersaved; plenty of Americans without a company plan make regular contributions to an IRA or other savings vehicle.
Furthermore, Americans as a whole, both those with and without company plans, are undersaved for retirement -- a problem that’s gotten worse in recent decades, as Obama alluded to when addressing the joint session of Congress in his State of the Union address Tuesday: “It’s not much of a stretch to say that some of the only people in America who are going to work the same job, in the same place, with a health and retirement package, for 30 years, are sitting in this chamber…for everyone else, especially folks in their 40s and 50s, saving for retirement or bouncing back from job loss has gotten a lot tougher.”
Indeed, 28% of American workers have less than $1,000 in savings and investments; and another roughly 30% have between $1,000 and $24,999.
Most workers don’t have enough money to retire
Total savings and investments, 2015
|Less than $1,000||28%|
|$1,000 - $9,999||17%|
|$10,000 - $24,999||12%|
|$25,000 - $49,999||9%|
|$50,000 - $99,999||10%|
|$100,000 - $249,999||10%|
|$250,000 or more||14%|
Read: Most Americans are one paycheck away from the street.