The headline and the first paragraph incorrectly stated that 74 percent of private industry workers participate in a savings and thrift plans. The text was corrected to show that 44 percent of private industry workers participate in any kind of defined contribution plan. Of those participants, 74 percent were in a savings and thrift plan.
74 percent of defined contribution plan participants had savings and thrift plans in 2015
December 30, 2016
In 2016, 44 percent of workers in private industry participated in defined contribution retirement plans. Defined contribution retirement plans accumulate tax-deferred savings in individual employee accounts established by the employer. In 2015, 74 percent of workers who participated in a defined contribution plan were in a savings and thrift plan, more than any other type of plan. A savings and thrift plan requires an employee to contribute a portion of earnings into an individual account; the employer may match the contribution. Nineteen percent of workers who participated in a defined contribution plan were in deferred profit sharing plans and 16 percent participated in money purchase plans. In deferred profit-sharing plans, employers usually contribute money to employee accounts based on company profits. A money purchase pension plan provides fixed employer contributions, typically calculated as a percentage of employee earnings.
|Worker type||Savings and thrift||Deferred profit sharing||Money purchase pension||Employee stock ownership (ESOP)||Savings incentive match plan (SIMPLE)|
Management, professional, and related
Sales and office
Natural resources, construction, and maintenance
Production, transportation, and material moving
Note: The sum of participation rates across each plan may be greater than 100 percent because multiple plans are available to some employees. Dash indicates the percentage rounds to zero.
In 2015, worker participation was lowest in employee stock ownership plans (4 percent) and savings incentive match plans (3 percent) among defined contribution plans. In an employee stock ownership plan, the employer pays into a fund that is typically invested in company-related stock. A savings incentive match plan is designed to help small businesses set up individual accounts for their employees; these accounts can be part of a 401(k) plan or an individual retirement account (IRA).
Fifty-nine percent of natural resources, construction, and maintenance workers with a defined contribution plan participated in savings and thrift plans. Less than 1 percent of service; natural resources, construction, and maintenance; and production, transportation, and material moving workers participated in employee stock ownership plans or savings incentive match plans.
These data are from the National Compensation Survey. To learn more, see the Beyond The Numbers article “Defined contribution retirement plans: Who has them and what do they cost?”
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, 74 percent of defined contribution plan participants had savings and thrift plans in 2015 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2016/74-percent-of-private-industry-workers-participated-in-saving-and-thrift-plans-in-2015.htm (visited December 10, 2018).
Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
- Workers in Alternative Employment Arrangements
A look at independent contractors, on-call workers, temporary help agency workers, and workers provided by contract firms.
- Labor force characteristics of people with a disability
Examines the labor force characteristics of people with a disability and compares them with the characteristics of people with no disability.
- A Look at Contingent Workers
Examines people who do not expect their jobs to last or who report that their jobs are temporary.
- Race, Economics, and Social Status
Examines Consumer Expenditure Survey data to explore social and economic factors by race and ethnicity.