Retirement Income Adequacy for Boomers and Gen Xers: Evidence from the 2012 EBRI Retirement Security Projection Model,®

Trends in Employment-Based Coverage Among Workers, and Access to Coverage Among Uninsured Workers, 1995-2011

May 2012, Vol. 33, No. 5
Paperback, 20 pp.
PDF, 908 kb
Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2012

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Executive Summary

Retirement Income Adequacy for Boomers and Gen Xers: Evidence from the 2012 EBRI Retirement Security Projection Model®



  • EBRI’s updated 2012 Retirement Security Projection Model® finds that for Early Baby Boomers (individuals born between 1948–1954), Late Baby Boomers (born between 1955–1964) and Generation Xers (born between 1965–1974), roughly 44 percent of the simulated lifepaths were projected to lack adequate retirement income for basic retirement expenses plus uninsured health care costs.
  • These “at-risk” levels are some 5–8 percentage points LOWER than what was found in 2003, largely due to the growing adoption of automatic enrollment by 401(k) plan sponsors.
  • Eligibility for a workplace defined contribution retirement plan has a significant positive impact on “at risk” levels.
  • The aggregate retirement income deficit number, taking into account current Social Security retirement benefits and the assumption that net housing equity is utilized “as needed,” is currently estimated to be $4.3 trillion for all Baby Boomers and Gen Xers.

Trends in Employment-Based Coverage Among Workers, and Access to Coverage Among Uninsured Workers, 1995-2011



  • Between December 2007–August 2009, the percentage of workers with employment-based coverage in their own name fell from 60.4 percent to 55.9 percent, recovering to 56.5 percent by December 2009. However, by April 2011, the percentage of workers with employment-based coverage had slipped back to 55.8 percent.
  • Most uninsured workers reported that they did not have coverage because of cost: anywhere from 70 percent to 90 percent over the December 1995–July 2011 period.
  • Uninsured workers reporting that they were not offered employment-based health benefits totaled roughly 40 percent from the mid-1990s through 2003, reaching 23 percent in mid-2011.