EBRI Fast Facts

The Retirement Landscape for Private-Sector Workers: How It Has Changed 1979–2021

Nov 9, 2023 2  pages


Having access to an employment-based retirement plan is one of the most significant factors in individuals’ likelihood of having a financially secure retirement. However, recent retirees and those currently reaching retirement face different challenges than private-sector workers who retired years before. This is due to a decrease in defined benefit (DB) plans being offered by private-sector employers and a corresponding increase in defined contribution (DC) plan offerings. The result is that future retirees will have greater responsibility for managing their retirement plan assets throughout retirement. In this Fast Fact, the extent of this movement of participants from DB plans to DC plans is reviewed for private-sector workers.