Only about half of workers approaching retirement age participate in a retirement plan, largely owing to lack of access: Share of workers who have access to and participate in a retirement plan at a current job, by age, 2019

Category Yes No
Access 63.0% 37.0%
Participation 53.4% 46.6%
Access 66.5% 33.5%
Participation 57.2% 42.8%
Access 46.3% 53.7%
Participation 36.9% 63.1%

Notes: Retirement plans include traditional defined benefit pension plans and retirement savings accounts such as 401(k)s. 

Retirement plans include traditional defined benefit pension plans and retirement savings accounts such as 401(k)s. The sample includes survey respondents and spouses or domestic partners who are employees or self-employed workers (which would include small business owners). Participants in a plan are workers who answered “yes” to a question about whether they were included in any “pension, retirement, or tax-deferred savings plans” connected with their job (not including IRA or Keogh plans) and workers whose spouse or partner answered “yes” for them. Workers with access to a plan are workers who answered “yes” to questions about whether their employer offered any such plans and whether they were eligible to be included in any of those plans and workers whose spouse or partner answered “yes” for them.

Source: Economic Policy Institute (EPI) and Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA) analysis of 2019 Federal Reserve Board of Governors Survey of Consumer Finances microdata (Federal Reserve 2022a).

View the underlying data on epi.org.