The number of working Americans with pensions of any kind has decreased steadily since 2001.

The number of people participating in defined contribution plans also decreased, going from 33 percent of employed men between 1999 and 2001 to 30 percent from 2007 to 2009, according to University of Michigan economist Frank Stafford.

Stafford is the co-author with Thomas Bridges, a U-M graduate student in economics, of a working paper titled "At the Corner of Main and Wall Street: Family Pension Responses to Liquidity Change and Perceived Returns." In the paper, they analyze data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, a survey of a nationally representative sample of U.S. households conducted by the U-M Institute for Social Research since 1968.

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