Retirement Plan Participation: Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) Data, 2009,

Variation in Public Opinion About Health Reform, by Plan Type: Findings from the 2010 EBRI/MGA Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey

November 2010, Vol. 31, No. 11
Paperback, 20 pp.
PDF, 894 kb
Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2010

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Executive Summary

Retirement Plan Participation: Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) Data, 2009


SPONSORSHIP AND PARTICIPATION LEVELS: The latest SIPP data show 59 percent of all workers over age 16 had an employer that sponsored a pension or retirement plan for any of its employees in 2009, down from previous levels (60 percent 1998 and 63 percent 2003), and the same as in 2006. Workers participating in a plan increased to 45 per-cent in 2009, up slightly from 2006 (44 percent) but down from 2003 (48 percent).


VESTING: The vesting rate (the percentage of workers who say they were entitled to some pension benefit or lump-sum distribution if they left their job) stood at 42 percent in 2009, up from 24 percent in 1979. This increase is largely due to the increased number of workers participating in defined contribution retirement plans (such as 401(k) plans), where employee contributions are immediately vested, and faster vesting requirements in private plans.


PRIMARY PLAN TYPE: Defined contribution (401(k)-type) plans were the primary plan for 60 percent of workers with a plan. Defined benefit (pension) plans were the primary plan for 39 percent of workers.


Variation in Public Opinion About Health Reform, by Plan Type: Findings from the 2010 EBRI/MGA Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey


LITTLE KNOWLEDGE OF PPACA: The 2010 EBRI/MGA Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey finds that relatively few people with private health insurance consider themselves knowledgeable about the PPACA, the federal health insurance reform law enacted earlier this year. Roughly half say they are somewhat, not very, or not at all knowledgeable about the law.


NEGATIVE EXPECTATIONS: Most individuals with private health insurance have negative expectations of how the new law will affect them personally, with a majority saying they expect it will cause prices to go up and health care coverage and quality to go down. Individuals with traditional health coverage tend to have more positive views than those with high-deductible or consumer-driven health plans—possibly because traditional health plan participants tend to identify themselves more as Democrats, while high-deductible and consumer-driven plan participants are more likely to lean Republican. IMPACT ON


EMPLOYMENT-BASED BENEFITS: Very few participants in employment-based health plans say their employer has given them any information about the new law. Also, very few expect the law will have much, if any, impact on employers’ willingness to offer health benefits, at least for the next four years.