With the projected Social Security shortfall, concern is growing over how well workers are preparing for retirement. "Whether an individual will outlive his or her assets has become more of a function of the decisions that individual makes," said Dallas Salisbury, president of the Employee Benefit Research Institute, a nonprofit group.
According to the most recent EBRI study, a growing number of workers participate in employer-sponsored pension plans, though the percentage of eligible workers who don't participate has also increased, especially among some minority groups. The most striking findings of the report:
In February 2001, 67.8 percent of workers age 21 to 64 worked for an employer with a pension plan, up 4.6 percent from 1995. And 54.8 percent participated in such a plan, up 3.8 percent.
While the percentage of workers who said they didn't participate in a plan because of ineligibility decreased from 1995 to 2001, the percentage of workers who chose not to participate in a plan jumped from 25 percent to 31 percent.
In 2001, 71.1 percent of whites worked for an employer with a pension plan, compared with 47.2 percent of Hispanics. And while the percentage of workers participating in plans rose across all demographic groups, the increases were smaller for blacks and Hispanics.