Retirement Tools

Near-Retirees' Retirement Plan Coverage by State

October 4, 2017

      Source: SCEPA calculations using Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement (CPS ASEC) 2015-2017 data.
      Notes: Figures are averages of three-year pooled samples. The question asks about coverage in the prior calendar year. The sample includes workers ages 55-64, working at least 30 hours per week. The coverage rate is the share of all workers who are eligible and participating in a retirement savings plan through their employer. 

      A well-funded retirement system relies on income from Social Security and private retirement savings. Without access to retirement plans, workers are not able to save enough for their retirement, leaving them dependent solely on Social Security and vulnerable to downward mobility in old age.

      State averages for older Americans’ retirement plan coverage reveal the following trends:

      • Almost half of American workers were not offered a retirement account at work.
      • In many southern states and a handful of other states, only 40% or fewer older workers have retirement plan coverage at work. Florida has the lowest rate at 31%, followed by Arkansas at 35%.
      • Northern states have a slight majority (50-60%) of older workers with access to coverage from their employer. These states have a higher rate of public employees in the labor force (Alaska, New York, Wyoming) along with unionized manufacturing jobs. Hawaii and Alaska have the highest and second highest coverage rates, respectively, at 61% and 57%.