Small businesses, it is often said, power the nation's economy.

Firms with fewer than 500 employees represent 99.9 percent of all businesses, according to the Small Business Administration.

Upwards of 55 million people work for businesses that do not sponsor retirement plans. That coverage gap widens among small businesses. Only 48 percent of employees in firms with less than 50 workers have access to a workplace retirement plan, compared to 91 percent in firms with more than 500 workers.

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Nick Thornton

Nick Thornton is a financial writer covering retirement and health care issues for BenefitsPRO and ALM Media. He greatly enjoys learning from the vast minds in the legal, academic, advisory and money management communities when covering the retirement space. He's also written on international marketing trends, financial institution risk management, defense and energy issues, the restaurant industry in New York City, surfing, cigars, rum, travel, and fishing. When not writing, he's pushing into some land or water.