Long-term consistent growth makes the U.S. retirement system look stable, but numbers mask underlying turnover of thousands of plans and outflow of billions of dollars, according to the Retirement Plan Landscape Report from Morningstar's Center for Retirement Studies.

The defined-contributed system saw the first year-over-year decline in plans added to the system in at least a decade at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the report. After the pandemic accelerated plan closings and dampened plan creation, the report reveals that only 2,090 employers cover 50% of workers with retirement plan, placing a heavy burden on small employers.

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