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Employee Benefits

Retirement plan provisions for private industry workers in the United States, 2022

April 2023
Download 2022 Excel tables (ZIP)

Table of Contents

Technical note
Appendix table 1 - sample size
Appendix table 2 - survey scope


The National Compensation Survey (NCS) provides comprehensive measures of compensation cost trends and the coverage, costs, and provisions of employer-sponsored benefits in the United States. The Excel tables (ZIP) present 2022 estimates of detailed employer-provided retirement plan provisions for private industry workers by occupation, industry, average wage category (percentile), work status (part-time/full-time), bargaining status (union/nonunion), establishment size and census area. Retirement benefits detailed provisions include:

Defined benefit plans:

Plan overview: availability and eligibility requirements for open plans, availability of benefit features, plan sponsor, primary plan formulas, vesting requirements, and integration with Social Security;

Traditional defined benefit plans: maximum credited service provisions, availability of lump-sum benefits at retirement, normal retirement age and service requirements, normal retirement age requirements by length of service, normal retirement service requirements in years, terminal earnings definition and formulas, early retirement availability with age requirements, early retirement service requirements in years, early retirement reductions, and postretirement survivor benefits;

Cash balance plans: employer contributions.

Defined contribution plans:

Plan overview: type of plan and plan sponsor;

Savings and thrift plans: summary of provisions, plan provisions, methods of retirement benefits distribution, eligibility requirements, maximum employee contributions subject to IRS limit, methods of employer matching contributions, maximum potential employer contribution percentage, availability of automatic enrollment and method of default contribution, vesting requirements, investment choices for employee funds and employer funds, and automatic escalation features;

Deferred profit-sharing plans: plan feature, method of employee contribution, methods of retirement benefits distribution;

Money purchase pension plans: employer contributions, method of employee contribution, methods of retirement benefits distribution, and employee contribution thresholds for employer matching.

Estimates are also accessible through the benefits database. Estimates for prior years and additional benefits publications are available on the Benefits publications page.

U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) staff designed the survey, collected and reviewed the survey data, and prepared survey estimates for publication. For information about the survey design, concepts, and calculations see the Handbook of Methods: National Compensation Measures.

The survey could not have been conducted without the cooperation of the many private businesses and state and local government agencies and jurisdictions that provided benefits data. BLS thanks these respondents for their cooperation. Additional information for survey respondents is available on the National Compensation Survey (NCS) Respondents page.

For more information on benefits estimates, contact National Compensation Survey staff by:
Email: Online form
Telephone: (202) 691-6199 (Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time)
Assistive communications:
Information voice phone: (202) 691-5200
If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, please dial 7-1-1 to access telecommunications relay services.

The contents of this publication are in the public domain and, with appropriate citation, may be reproduced without permission.

Technical note


Measures of reliability are available for published estimates, which provide users a measure of the precision of an estimate to ensure that it is within an acceptable range for their intended purpose. For further information see Technical Information about Standard Errors for Benefit Estimates.


Differences in retirement plan participation are influenced by type of plan offered. In defined benefit plans participation is often mandatory, after meeting eligibility requirements, while participation in defined contribution plans is often voluntary.


All estimates shown in the table are based on the set of workers specified in the statement on any subsets indicated by footnotes. For example, the statement may indicate that "All workers participating in defined contribution plans = 100 percent.”


Some estimates are classified as "not determinable"; such occurrences have various causes. The Summary Plan Description (SPD) is used as a primary source of information on the provisions of retirement plans. For detailed provisions of employer-sponsored retirement plans, the "not determinable" classification is used when no information on a particular plan feature is available from the SPD.


Estimates by worker average wage are grouped into six wage categories- the lowest 10 percent, the lowest 25 percent, the second 25 percent, the third 25 percent, the highest 25 percent, and the highest 10 percent. The categories use percentile values based on unpublished March 2022 wages and salaries from the BLS Employer Costs for Employee Compensation publication.

The percentiles are computed using hourly wages and salaries along with scheduled hours of work reported for individual workers in sampled establishments. Establishments in the survey are asked to report only individual worker wages and salaries for each sampled job. For the calculation of the percentile values, the individual worker hourly wages and salaries are weighted and arrayed from lowest to highest. The values corresponding to the percentiles are:

Ownership Average hourly wage percentiles
10th 25th 50th 75th 90th

Private industry

$13.00 $16.00 $21.50 $33.77 $52.88

The lowest 10- and 25-percent wage categories include those occupations with an average hourly rate less than the 10th percentile value and 25th percentile value, respectively. The second 25-percent category includes those occupations with rates at or above the 25th percentile value but less than the 50th percentile value. The third 25-percent category includes those occupations with rates at or above the 50th percentile value but less than the 75th percentile value. Finally, the highest 25- and 10-percent wage categories include those occupations with an average hourly wage greater than or equal to the 75th percentile value and 90th percentile value, respectively.

Individual workers can fall into a wage category different from the average for the occupation into which they are classified because average hourly wages for the occupation are used to produce the benefit estimates.


For technical information on survey methods, see the Handbook of Methods: National Compensation Measures. The Concepts section provides definitions for worker and establishment characteristics, including geographic areas.


For articles on employee benefits, see the Monthly Labor Review benefits section and Beyond the Numbers: Pay and Benefits, The Economics Daily and factsheets. Benefit publications from 1980 to the present are available through the publications archive. In addition, the benefits database may also be used to obtain data from 1985 to 2006 and 2010 to the present.  


Appendix table 1 - sample size

 Appendix table 1. Survey establishment response(1), 2022
Establishments Private industry

Total in sampling frame(2)


Total in sample






Out of business or not in survey scope


(1) The number of establishments is rounded to the nearest 10. Because of rounding, sums of individual items may not equal totals.
(2) The sampling frame was developed from state unemployment insurance reports and is based on the 2017 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). With some minor exceptions, an establishment is a single economic unit that engages in one, or predominantly one, type of economic activity. For private industry, the establishment is usually at a single physical location such as a mine, factory, office, or store; if a sampled establishment is owned by a larger entity with many locations, only the employment and characteristics of the establishment selected for the sample are considered for the survey.
(3) Establishments that provided data at the initial interview.
(4) Establishments that did not provide data at the initial interview. For information on nonresponse adjustment and imputation, see the Handbook of Methods: National Compensation Measures available at

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Compensation Survey.

Appendix table 2 - survey scope

 Appendix table 2. Number of workers represented,(1) 2022
Occupational group(2) Private industry workers

All workers


Management, professional, and related


Management, business, and financial


Professional and related




Protective service


Sales and office


Sales and related


Office and administrative support


Natural resources, construction, and maintenance


Construction, extraction, farming, fishing, and forestry


Installation, maintenance, and repair


Production, transportation, and material moving




Transportation and material moving


(1) The numbers of workers represented by the survey are rounded to the nearest 100. For information on weighting, see the Handbook of Methods: National Compensation Measures available at
(2) The 2018 Standard Occupational Classification system was used to classify workers.

Note: Because of rounding, sums of individual items may not equal totals. Dashes indicate that no estimates for this characteristic are provided in this publication.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Compensation Survey.



Last Modified Date: April 13, 2023