Half of Americans lack a retirement plan. Here are the worst countries.

Half of Americans lack a retirement plan.  Here are the worst countries.

Less than half of American workers qualify for a retirement plan through their job. But this lack of access is significantly worse in some states, which researchers warn could face higher rates of poverty among seniors as a result, according to a new study.

In its analysis of 2021 Census data, the Economic Innovation Group found that about 69 million workers, or 56% of the country’s workforce, lack access to a retirement plan through their workplace. The share is highest in Florida, where nearly 7 in 10 workers are unable to cash in an employer-sponsored plan, and lowest in Iowa, where it is about 4 in 10.

Americans’ willingness to retire is divided by income and occupation, with higher-income families more likely to have drained money in their later years than lower-wage workers. There is also a geographic gap, the analysis found, with workers in the South less likely to access employer-sponsored plans than workers in the Midwest.

“It certainly limits the ability of these workers to really take advantage of probably the most significant vehicle” of retirement savings in the United States, Benjamin Glassner, associate economist at EIG, told CBS MoneyWatch.

He added, “If you don’t have access to it, you can’t even begin to take advantage of the tax benefits of those plans. And that’s a pretty big hurdle to try to overcome on your own.”

The research found that Midwestern workers are the most likely to access employer-based retirement plans, at 49%, while workers in the South are the least likely, with only 42% being able to take advantage of a 401(k) or similar.

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