“Ownership of Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and 401(k)-Type Plans, 1996-2009,” and “Tracking Health Insurance Coverage by Month: Trends in Employment-Based Coverage Among Workers, and Access to Coverage Among Uninsured Workers, 1995-2010”

October 2011, Vol. 32, No. 10
Paperback, 20 pp.
PDF, 955 kb
Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2011

Download Notes PDF pdf

Executive Summary

Ownership of Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and 401(k)-Type Plans, 1996–2009


OWNERSHIP: The percentage of workers ages 21-64 with an individual account plan (IRA or 401(k)-type plan) grew significantly in the late 1990s into the early 2000s. By 2009, 33.0 percent of workers owned a 401(k)-type plan and 20.8 percent owned an IRA.


AVERAGE CONTRIBUTIONS/EARNINGS: The average annual contribution was $4,513 to a 401(k)-type plan, and $2,801 to an IRA in 2009. The proportion of workers ages 21–64 making a tax-deductible IRA contribution was 5.4 percent in 2009.


Tracking Health Insurance Coverage by Month: Trends in Employment-Based Coverage Among Workers, and Access to Coverage Among Uninsured Workers, 1995-2010


HEALTH COVERAGE ON A MONTHLY BASIS: This analysis examines employment-based health benefit coverage rates on a monthly basis from December 1995 to April 2010, to more clearly show changes in trends and the effects of recessions and unemployment on coverage.


RECESSION PERIODS: Between December 2007–August 2009, the percentage of workers with coverage in their own name fell from 60.4 percent to 55.9 percent, after which there appeared to be what might be the beginning of a recovery in workers with employment-based coverage: By December 2009, 56.6 percent of workers had employment-based coverage. However, but this slipped to 56.2 percent by April 2010.


ECONOMY AND OTHER FACTORS AFFECT HEALTH COVERAGE: The likelihood of a worker being uninsured is tied to the strength of the economy and the unemployment rate. Most workers reported that they did not have coverage because of cost, ranging from 70-90 percent over the December 1995–April 2010 period. The portion of uninsured workers reporting that they were not offered employment-based health benefits was roughly 40 percent through 2003 and has been falling since then, reaching 23 percent in early 2010.