This report, conducted at the request of New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, reveals a 17% drop (from 49% to 41%) between 2001 and 2011 in the percentage of New York City workers participating in a retirement plan at work. Only 12% of New Yorkers had a defined benefit (DB) plan. The DB plan guarantees a pension, whereas defined contribution (DC) plans such as 401(k)s and IRAs do not. As a result, those with DB plans maintained an average income replacement rate of 90% versus those with DC plans who had an average replacement rate of 48%. The consequences of declining employer-sponsored plans and low replacement rates threaten workers' standard of living in retirement and could increase poverty levels among the city's older residents.
Authors: Joelle Saad-Lessler, Teresa Ghilarducci and Kate Bahn