How many American workers participate in workplace retirement plans?

Annual figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics help paint a picture of the number of Americans who participate in a retirement plan at work.  Typically in any year only half of workers participate in a retirement plan at work.  In 2022 participation by all civilian workers, full and part-time, was 56 percent.   The information […]


Income of Today’s Older Adults

As concern about the adequacy of the nation’s retirement income programs moves to the forefront of public debate, policymakers and the public are looking to statistics to argue for or against the need for reform. Because there is a wide range of data from a variety of sources, the statistics can be confusing. To help […]


Income from Other Sources

Older adults also receive income from other sources, such as earnings from work, assets, and public assistance. Income from Assets Older adults also receive income from savings accounts, certificates of deposit, stocks and bonds, retirement accounts (such as 401(k)s and IRAs), and other investments. Income from assets takes the form of interest, dividends, rents and royalties. […]


Sources of Income for Older Adults

Today’s older adults typically have a number of sources of income. For most, the primary source of income is Social Security. Other sources are income from investments and other assets, pensions and other retirement plans, earnings from work and, for a small percentage, public assistance programs and veterans benefits. In 2021, over eight in ten […]


Income from Pensions

In 2021, pension benefits provided income to nearly one third of older adults. Below are some statistics on the median benefits received by older adults. Median Pension Benefit In 2021, one out of three older adults received income from private company or union pension plans, federal, state, or local government pension plans, or Railroad Retirement, […]


Income from Social Security

Nearly nine in ten older adults receives income from Social Security. Below are statistics on the benefits received by older adults, by average, median, and relative importance. Average Social Security Benefits In 2022, the average retiree received an estimated $19,896 a year in Social Security benefits. Couples in which both parties received benefits received $33,518 a […]


Why Pensions Are Important

This fact sheet explains the role pensions play in the overall retirement security of American workers, retirees, and their families. Pensions are Important to Retirement Security Social Security provides only a safety net. Average yearly Social Security payment: $21,968 Annual minimum-wage salary: $15,080 Average portion of pay Social Security replaces: 34.4% Most retirees have little […]


Income Received By Different Groups

For a clearer picture of the economic status of today’s older adults, it is helpful to look at breakdowns of statistics by age, marital status, gender, and race, in addition to looking at overall income figures. Sources for these figures can be found at the bottom of the page. Income Differences by Age In 2021, half […]


How Much Is Saved in 401(k)s

Increasingly, retirement savings plans have become the way American workers accumulate the money they will need to supplement their Social Security payments in retirement. The most common retirement savings plan is the 401(k). 401(k)s are offered by employers, but it is typically up to the employee to decide whether to participate and how much to […]


Retirement Plan Contribution and Benefit Limits

This chart lists the maximum amounts individuals are permitted to contribute to their retirement plans each year. The effective date for 2023 limits is January 1, 2023. Maximum Dollar Limits 2023 2022 2021 2020 Annual employee contribution limit for 401(k), 403(b), or 457 savings plans $22,500 $20,500 $19,500 $19,500 Annual catch-up contribution limit for 401(k), 403(b) […]


Data on full time and part time workers

Participation of full and part-time workers, NCS, March 2019 Private industry only*. Percent by full and part-time status Access Participation Take-up Rate       Full-time workers 77% 61% 80% In defined benefit plans 19% 15% 77% In 401(k)-type plans 73% 57% 54%         Part-time workers 39% 22% 57% In defined benefit […]


Data on workers’ access to retirement plans and take up rates

Participation At any one time only half of workers participate in a retirement plan at work.  This is, in part, because employers are not required to have retirement plans, and also because those who offer plans can limit retirement plan coverage to certain classes of workers.  In addition, workers offered 401(k) and other retirement savings […]