It’s tough to save enough for retirement—somethingwe already know.

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Read: 10 worst states for retirementincome

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But it’s even tougher if you have no access to an employer-basedretirement plan in which to save.

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Research from the Pew Charitable Trusts has identified a numberof reasons access to such plans might be hard to come by.

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Read: Does new EBRI data bolster demands for statemandates?

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More than 40 percent of full-time private sector workers, thereport said, lack access to either a pension or an employer-basedretirement savings plan such as a 401(k).

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Just under half—49 percent—say they participate in one.

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While the study said that access can vary within a state, aswell as from region to region across the country, it said thataccess varies more across the country’s metropolitan areas thanacross states as a whole. That said, it found that nearly threequarters of the U.S. metropolitan areas in the bottom 25 percentare in Florida, Texas, or California.

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Read: If state plans can't close the gap, isnational retirement plan needed?

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It also identified specific regions and reasons for that lack ofaccess, examining access in “metropolitan statistical areas”(MSAs), where it said approximately 51 million full-time, full-yearprivate sector workers live—close to three quarters of all suchworkers in the U.S.

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There’s wide variation in accessibility to an employer-basedretirement plan, whether defined contribution or defined benefit.In Grand Rapids, Michigan, for instance, the study found that 71percent of workers have access to a plan.

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But in McAllen, Texas, the story is very different—only 23percent of people can even choose whether to participate in anemployer-based plan.

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Here are five reasons access to retirement plans can be low insome U.S. metropolitan areas.

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1. More people are working for smallemployers.

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Pew said that previous analyses suggest that it’s harder forsmaller businesses to offer retirement plans, since they face suchobstacles as general financial uncertainties and the administrativecosts of setting up and running plans.

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Across the 50 states, the report found that only 22 percent ofworkers at companies with fewer than 10 employees report havingaccess to a workplace retirement plan, compared with 74 percent ofworkers at businesses with at least 500 employees.

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2. There are higher percentages of low-incomeworkers.

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Looking at the nation as a whole, workers who earn less than$25,000 in wages and salaries a year had an access rate more than50 percentage points below the rate for workers earning $100,000 ormore (22 percent vs. 75 percent).

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If salaries are low, those lower-income workers will be lessable to take advantage of a retirement plan even if it’s offered;they need their pay for everyday expenses.

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3. There are higher percentages of Hispanicworkers.

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MSAs with high shares of Hispanic workers tend to have lowerretirement plan coverage—such as the aforementioned McAllen, Texas,in which 95 percent of private sector workers are Hispanic.

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The study said that Hispanic workers and other minorities mayface barriers such as language or limited familiarity withfinancial institutions, factors that can limit both access andparticipation.

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Nationally, the study found that just 38 percent of Hispanicworkers reported having access to an employer-based retirementplan, compared with 63 percent of white, non-Hispanic workers.

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Hispanic workers also have lower average incomes and are morelikely to work in industries in which retirement plans are lesscommon.

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4. Retirement benefits are less common in someindustries.

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Some industries don’t generally offer retirement benefits, suchas the leisure and hospitality sector or agriculture.

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According to Pew’s review of national data, only 34 percent ofworkers in the leisure and hospitality industry had access to aretirement plan, compared with 69 percent of those working inmanufacturing.

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And since some industries tend to cluster in certain areas, thatcan result in a concentration of businesses that do not provideretirement benefits within a given MSA.

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5. “Job quality” and other factors could determineretirement benefit availability.

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Industries with large numbers of low-wage, short-term orpart-time workers tend to have lower access rates.

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Among other factors that play in to retirement plan access arethe percentage of workers in certain industries, whether there isunion representation, and the age composition of the workers.

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