New AARP Research: Nearly Half of Marylanders Do Not Have Access to a Retirement Plan at Work

Posted on 09/15/22


Nearly half of workers in Maryland do not have access to a retirement plan at work, according to a study released by AARP on September 15, 2022. Some 947,000 people — 43% of Maryland’s private sector employees ages 18 to 64 — work for an employer that does not offer either a traditional pension or a retirement savings plan. Beginning with the launch of MarylandSaves (www.marylandsaves.com), Marylanders will have more options available to help build financial security.

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Maryland is one of 16 states that have enacted a state-facilitated payroll deduction retirement savings or “Work & Save” program. State-facilitated retirement savings programs are providing a growing number of workers with a way to build financial security at work using payroll deduction. State-facilitated retirement savings programs provide a growing number of workers with a way to build financial security at work using payroll deduction.

[See Fact Sheets:
“Payroll Deduction Retirement Programs Build Economic Security”
 “Maryland Could Save $69.7 Million by Helping People Save for Their Own Retirement”]

 “Having access to a retirement plan at work is critical for building financial security later in life. And we know people are much more likely to save for retirement if they can do so automatically through their paycheck.” said Hank Greenberg, AARP Maryland state director. “That's why AARP Maryland worked hard to enact MarylandSaves, to help provide an easy pathway for workers to build a safety net and grow the savings they need for a more secure future.”

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AARP’s research found that employees at small businesses are less likely to have access to a retirement plan than those at larger workplaces in Maryland. About 74% of workers at companies with fewer than 10 employees and 58% who work in companies with 10 to 24 employees lack access to a plan. Even among employers with more than 100 workers, fully 462,000 employees do not have access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan.

Access to a retirement plan varies by educational attainment. Sixty-six percent of workers with less than a high school degree do not have an employer-provided retirement plan — compared to 48% of workers with some college and nearly 29% with a bachelor’s degree or higher.

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The data also reveals disparities by race and ethnicity. Nearly 60% of Hispanic workers, 48% of Black workers, and 39% of Asian American workers lack access to an employer-provided retirement plan. Together, these employees account for about 55% of the total number of uncovered workers in Maryland.

In a recent national AARP survey, 96% of likely voters age 25 and over who are currently participating in a workplace retirement plan report the plan is important in helping them save for retirement. Nine in ten (91%) respondents also support establishing a state-facilitated program to help workers save for retirement if their employer does not currently offer them a way to save. 

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About AARP AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.orgwww.aarp.org/espanol or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.

This story is provided by AARP Maryland. Visit the AARP Maryland page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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