Employee Retirement Income Security Act
Even though Americans have a greater and greater need for additional retirement savings, pension coverage remains far from universal. Even among workers between forty and sixty years of age, only 60 percent are covered by a pension plan (as of 1999). While 71.6 percent of employees at medium- and large-size private firms (100 or more employees) participated in a pension plan in 1997, only 37.3 percent of workers at smaller firms participated in a plan that year. Also, there is a particularly large gender gap concerning private pension income. In 1995, 46.4 percent of men over age sixty-five received pension and/or annuity income (averaging $11,460 per year), but only 26.4 percent of women over age sixty-five that year received a pension or annuity, and these averaged just $6,684 per year.
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