Value of Benefits Constant in a Changing World: Findings from the 2001 EBRI/MGA Value of Benefits Survey

Pension Plan Participation Continued to Rise in 2000 - What Next?

March 2002, Vol. 23, No. 3
Paperback, 16 pp.
PDF, 69 kb
Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2002

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Executive Summary

Value of Benefits Constant in a Changing World: Findings from the 2001 EBRI/MGA Value of Benefits Survey—The most recent Value of Benefits Survey shows that American workers' preferences for various employee benefits changed little between 1999 and 2001, despite the economic downturn and the terrorist attacks in September. Employees continue to rank health insurance as the most important benefit. Sixty percent of workers rated it as number one in 2001, down slightly from 64 percent in 1999. Twenty-three percent of workers ranked retirement savings plans, such as 401(k)s, as the most important benefit in 2001, up from 21 percent in 1999.

Pension Plan Participation Continued to Rise in 2000 - What Next?—The percentage of wage and salary workers ages 21-64 who participated in a pension plan continued to increase in 2000, reaching 52.3 percent. The most likely type of worker to participate in a plan was white, male, high-earning, highly educated, age 45-54, and in public-sector employment. Yet, workers without these characteristics also experienced increased likelihood of participating in a pension plan from 1994 to 2000. The article concludes that the recent slowing of the economy may portend the end of this growth, likely making it more difficult for employers to sponsor plans and for these types of workers to participate in a plan when it is offered.