Nearly 15 percent of workers decline the opportunity to participate in their
employers' 401(k) or 403(b) retirement plan, according to a survey by the Wall
Street Journal Online and Harris Interactive.
The survey found that 45 percent of workers currently participate in a 401(k)
or 403(b) retirement plan while 14 percent are offered the opportunity to participate
by their employer but have chosen against. Thirty-five percent of workers do
not participate because their employer does not offer them the option, according
to the survey.
Less than one-quarter (22 percent) of workers with annual household incomes
of $35,000 or less participate in a 401(k) or 403(b) plan, compared to 40 percent
of workers with incomes of $35,000 to $49,999, 54 percent of workers with incomes
of $50,000 to $74,999, and 66 percent of workers with incomes of $75,000 or
more, according to the survey.
Nineteen percent of the lowest income bracket say they do not participate in
their employers' 401(k) or 403(b) retirement plan because they have chosen not
to, compared with 12 percent in the two highest income brackets.
Male workers aged 45 to 54 are most likely to participate in one of these retirement
plans (59%) while female workers aged 18 to 34 are most likely to say they do
not participate because these plans have not been made available to them by
their employer (45%).
Harris Interactive conducted the online survey within the United States between
September 14 and 16, 2005 among a national cross section of 2,025 adults, ages
18 years and over.