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FAQs About Benefits—Retirement Issues

What are the trends in retirement plan participation in the United States?

Retirement plan participation (the percentage of the workforce who participates in a plan regardless of eligibility) has held somewhat steady from 1987-2005. However, participation for all workers increased from 37.6% to 40.9% from 1987 to 2005, but for full-time, full-year workers, the participation decreased from 58.4% to 54.8%. After the percentages peaked in 1999 and 2000, they declined reaching their lowest levels since 1993.

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For further information on retirement plan participation, see "Employment-Based Retirement Plan Participation," EBRI Issue Brief, October 2005.

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