“Retirement Plan Participation: Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) Data, 2012,” and “Satisfaction With Health Coverage and Care: Findings from the 2012 EBRI/MGA Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey”

August 2013, Vol. 34, No. 8
Paperback, 24 pp.
PDF, 1,665 kb
Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2013

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Executive Summary

Retirement Plan Participation: Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) Data, 2012



  • The latest SIPP data from the U.S. Census Bureau show 61 percent of all workers over age 16 had an employer that sponsored a pension or retirement plan for any of its employees in 2012, up from 59 percent in 2009. Workers participating in a plan increased to 46 percent in 2012, up slightly from 2009 (45 percent) but below 2003 (48 percent).
  • 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 43 percent in 2012, 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-sector pension plans.
  • Defined contribution (401(k)-type) plans were considered the primary plan by 78 percent of workers with a plan. Defined benefit (pension) plans were the primary plan for 21 percent of workers.

Satisfaction With Health Coverage and Care: Findings from the 2012 EBRI/MGA Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey



  • While the overall satisfaction rates for consumer-driven health plan (CDHP) enrollees increased in most years of the Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey, satisfaction rates among traditional enrollees decreased in most years of the survey.
  • While high-deductible and CDHP enrollees were much more likely to report that they were not too or not at all satisfied with their health plan, their dissatisfaction levels appeared to be trending downward in most years of the survey.
  • Differences in out-of-pocket costs may explain some of the difference in overall satisfaction rates. In 2012, 44 percent of traditional-plan participants were extremely or very satisfied with out-of-pocket costs (for health care services other than for prescription drugs), while 18 percent of HDHP enrollees and 27 percent of CDHP participants were extremely or very satisfied.