The gender gap in participation at employer-sponsored retirement plans has narrowed considerably over the past 16 years.[@@]
Craig Copeland, a researcher at the Employee Benefit Research Institute, Washington, reports that 50% of males and 47% of females aged 21 to 64 participated in an employment-based retirement plan in 2003, compared with 54% of the males and about 49% of the females studied in 2000.
The participation gap is much narrower than in 1987, the first year covered by the study, when 51% of males and fewer than 41% of the females participated in employment-based plans.
Copeland also found that a 2-year decline in the percentage of workers participating in an employer retirement plan appears to have ended: 42% of all workers were in employment-based plans in 2003, slightly more than the percentage taking part in such plans in the previous 2 years.
The participation level for full-time, full-year workers ages 21 to 64 hit 57% last year, just above levels found in 2002.