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January 05, 2009
Top and Bottom States for Retirement Plan Participation
New research from the Employee Benefit Research Institute ( reveals how many wage and salary workers ages 21-64 participate in an employment-based pension or retirement plan. Here we present the top and bottom 5 states in terms of retirement plan participation by employees.

Overall, 53.7 million wage and salary workers participated in a pension or retirement plan in 2007, the most recent year in which individual state-by-state data is available. This figure represents a 55.3% participation rate of wage and salary workers nationwide.

Here are the top 5 states for pension or retirement plan participation:

  1. Wisconsin 67.7% (1.26 million workers)
  2. Iowa 66.9% (0.69 million)
  3. North Dakota 65.8 (0.14 million)
  4. Connecticut 65.0% (0.73 million)
  5. Minnesota 64.1 (1.14 million)

Honorable mentions include Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, Ohio, Washington, and West Virginia which all had participation rates between 62.1-63.9%, still well above the national average.

Here are the bottom 5 states for retirement plan participation:

  1. Florida 41.8% (2.49 million)
  2. Arizona 44.3% (0.89 million)
  3. Louisiana 46.7% (0.60 million)
  4. Texas 48.8% (3.74 million)
  5. Nevada 50.3% (0.46 million)

California, Colorado, and New York also had participation rates below 52%, well below the national average.

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