The report documents the changes in retirement plan coverage for New Yorkers between two time periods, 2013-2015 and 2015-2017.
- In 2015-2017, only 42% of employed New York State residents ages 25-64 were covered by an employer-sponsored retirement plan, down 5 percentage points from 2 years prior.
- Coverage in New York City is even lower, with just 35% covered by a retirement plan in 2017.
- Though retirement plan coverage in New York State is 2 percentage points higher than the national average, coverage has fallen for two decades.
- Since the creation of the 401(k) in 1978, defined benefit and 401(k)-type coverage in the United States has declined for all income groups.
- Workplace retirement plan coverage remains lower for Hispanic (34%, no change) and Asian (34%, down 4) workers than for white (46%, down 4) and black (42%, down 4) workers.
- Just 49 percent of workers in the top 10% of the income distribution (over $118,000) had a retirement plan in 2017, down 9 percentage points.
- Coverage of workers in the next 40% of earners (between $39,000 and $118,000) fell 4 percentage points to 54%.
- Low-income workers were less likely to have a workplace retirement plan, with 33% of workers in the bottom half of the income distribution reporting being covered by a plan, down 1 point from 2013- 201
- Inadequate retirement coverage and savings exposes workers to the risk of experiencing a sharp decline in their living standards when they retire.
- For some, a reduction in income will mean deprivation and downward mobility into poverty when they retire.
- ReLab projects that out of 2 million older workers in New York State ages 50-60 and their spouses who are not poor or near poor, 825,000 – or 41% – will fall into poverty or near poverty when they retire at 62.
Authors: Teresa Ghilarducci and Michael Papadopoulos