Employer provided retirement plans were a common employee benefit in the United States, available to 74 percent of all full-time workers in private industry in March 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on July 27. By contrast, 39 percent of part-time private industry workers had access to a retirement plan. These data are from the National Compensation Survey (NCS), which provides comprehensive measures of occupation earnings, compensation cost trends, and incidence and provisions of employee benefit plans. Access to medical care benefits and paid sick leave benefits were provided to 86 and 74 percent of full-time private industry workers, respectively. Only 24 percent of part-time workers had access to medical care and 26 percent to paid sick leave benefits. A worker with access to a medical or retirement plan is defined as having an employer-provided plan available for use, regardless of the workers’ decisions to enroll or participate in the plan.

The following are additional findings:

 * Sixty-five percent of private industry employees had access to retirement benefits, compared with 90 percent of state and local government employees. Eighty-five percent of state and local government employees participated in a retirement plan, a significantly greater percentage than for private industry workers, at 50 percent.

 * Among full-time state and local government workers, virtually all (99 percent) had access to retirement and medical care benefits. Part-time workers’ access to these benefits was more limited in both private industry and in state and local government.

 * Medical care benefits were available to 71 percent of private industry workers, compared with 88 percent among state and local government workers. About half of private industry workers participated in a plan, less than the 73 percent of state and local government workers.

 * Employers paid 82 percent of the cost of premiums for single coverage and 70 percent of the cost for family coverage, for workers participating in employer sponsored medical plans. The employer share for single coverage was greater in state and local government (89 percent) than in private industry (80 percent). For family coverage, the employer share of premiums was similar for private industry and state and local government, 70 and 73 percent, respectively.

 More information can be obtained by calling 202-691-6199, sending e-mail to NCSinfo@bls.gov, or by visiting the BLS Internet site, http://www.bls.gov/ncs/home.htm. Also, BLS Regional Information offices, which are listed on the Internet site, http://www.bls.gov/bls/regncon.htm, are available to answer questions.