The figures in this brief come from a pooled version of the 2010-14 Minnesota Population Center’s Integrated Public Use Microdata Series Current Population Survey (CPS), Annual Social and Economic Supplement. Unless otherwise noted, “worker” means a full-time, full-year, private sector wage and salary worker age 18 to 64. The term “metropolitan area” refers to a metropolitan statistical area, as defined by the federal Office of Management and Budget.
Readers should be aware that all access figures are self-reported by survey respondents and subject to error. Additionally, the CPS is not specifically designed to provide representative metropolitan area estimates, and figures are subject to greater uncertainty than national or state estimates. Pew uses the CPS for this analysis because it provides the best available estimates of retirement plan access at the metropolitan area level.
Pew’s January 2016 report Who’s In, Who’s Out examined access to and participation in retirement plans in all 50 states. For space limitations and because participation largely tracks access, this brief only shows access to retirement plans. The separate report provides more detailed examination of the data and limitations. The data visualization that accompanied the report includes both access and participation rates in the states and the metropolitan statistical areas.