September 23, 2009
In March 2009, 71 percent of civilian workers had access to retirement benefits plans through their employers; 57 percent of civilian workers participated in such plans.
The take-up rate—the ratio of the percentage who participated to the percentage with access—was 80 percent.
All retirement benefits plans are categorized as either defined benefit or defined contribution plans.
The proportion of all civilian workers who had access to defined benefit plans was 31 percent, and 29 percent participated, yielding take-up rate of 94 percent.
The proportion of all civilian workers who had access to defined contribution plans was 56 percent, with 39 percent participating; the take-up rate was 69 percent.
These data are from the National Compensation Survey–Benefits program. To learn more, see "National Compensation Survey: Employee Benefits in the United States, March 2009" (HTML) (PDF), September 2009, Bulletin 2731. Take-up rates are the percentage of workers with access to a plan who participate in the plan. They are computed by using the number of workers participating in a plan divided by the number of workers with access to the plan, multiplied by 100.