Taking analysis from the latest Census Bureau statistics, theEmployee Benefit ResearchInstitute estimates that among all workers (including those notoffered a retirement plan at work), 39.6 percent participated in aretirement plan in 2009, about a percentage point less than2008 and down almost 5 percentage points from the high of 44.4percent registered in 2000.

A little more than half (54.4 percent) of those most likely tohave benefits -- full-time, full-year wage and salary workers ages21 to 64 -- participated in a retirement plan in 2009, down 6percentage points from the high of 60.4 percent registered in1999.

The rate of employers sponsoringretirement plans also dropped in2009 to 61.8 percent for full-time, full-year wage and salaryworkers, down almost 8 percentage points from the high of 69.4percent measured in 1999.

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