- June 1, 2016; Vol. 3, Number 6

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Who’s In, Who’s Out: A look at access to employer-based retirement plans

by John Scott

With the aging of the nation’s population, a continuing decline in the availability of traditional pensions, and concerns about the future of Social Security, many workers in the United States worry that they won’t have enough money set aside for their retirements. The Employee Benefit Research Institute’s 2014 annual Retirement Confidence Survey found that only 22 percent of Americans are very confident that they will have enough money for a comfortable retirement, while 36 percent are somewhat confident. Twenty-four percent are not at all confident.

In addressing these concerns, policymakers have emphasized the need to expand access to what are known as employer-sponsored defined contribution plans, such as 401(k)s. The ability of employees to contribute directly from their paychecks and the use of features such as automatic enrollment make the workplace an effective place to encourage saving. These employer-sponsored plans are how Americans now accumulate the vast ma

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