A study from The Inclusive Wealth Building Initiative starkly illustrates the gulf between those employees with access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan and those who participate—and, perhaps unsurprisingly, much of that participation depends on income levels.

The Initiative, a project of The Economic Innovation Group, derived its data from various surveys, including the Census Bureau's Survey of Income and Program Participation and the Bureau of Labor Statistics' National Compensation Survey. The study also used the 2019 Current Population Survey's Annual Social and Economic Supplement instead of the 2020 release, "because the 2020 survey was administered in March 2020 and likely suffered from lower response rates due to the COVID-19 pandemic," the authors wrote.

The study found that 46 percent of workers nationwide have access to an employer-sponsored plan, with 15 states being below that national average. Although many of those states are mainly located in the Southeast and the South, they also include California (43.7%) and New York (41.8%).

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Richard Binder

Richard Binder, based in New York, is part of the social media team at ALM. He is also a 2014 recipient of the ASPBE Award for Excellence in the Humorous/Fun Department.