The recent decline in medical and retirement plan coverage

September 28, 2004

The share of workers with employer-provided medical care and retirement benefits plans declined over the past decade.

Percent of workers participating in medical care and retirement benefit plans, private industry, 1992-93, 1993-94 and 2003
[Chart data—TXT]

Between 1992-93 and 2003, the proportion of private sector workers participating in employer-provided medical care plans steadily declined. Medical care covered 63 percent of workers in 1992-93, compared with 45 percent in 2003.

There were less dramatic declines in retirement plan coverage; such plans covered 53 percent of workers in 1992-93, compared with 49 percent in 2003.

These declines may be the result of shifts in the composition of the labor force, changes in employer decisions to offer coverage or employee decisions to choose coverage, or some combination of these and other factors.

These data are from the BLS National Compensation Survey - Benefits program. Additional information is available from "Medical and retirement plan coverage: exploring the decline in recent years," by William Wiatrowski, Monthly Labor Review, August 2004.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Editor's Desk, The recent decline in medical and retirement plan coverage on the Internet at (visited September 16, 2014).


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