March 09, 2011
In March 2010, 87 percent of State government workers had access to defined-benefit retirement plans, compared with 83 percent of local government workers. Nearly all government workers who had access to a defined-benefit plan participated—78 percent of State government workers, compared with 79 percent of local government workers.
Defined contribution plans were offered to only 43 percent of State government workers and 24 percent of local government employees in March 2010. Given that defined contribution plans often require a voluntary employee contribution, participation was less likely—25 percent of State government workers, compared with 14 percent of local government workers.
In March 2010, among State government workers, 94 percent had access to medical plans, compared with 86 percent of local government workers.
Compared with local government employees, State government employees had similar or higher access rates for most paid leave plans in March 2010.
Differences in access rates between State and local government employees were especially notable for paid holidays and paid vacations—90 percent and 86 percent of State government workers, respectively, compared with 60 percent and 51 percent of local government workers, respectively.
These data are from the National Compensation Survey – Benefits program. To learn more, see "Program Perspectives on State and Local Government Benefits" (PDF). Defined-benefit plans are retirement plans that provide employees with guaranteed retirement benefits that are based on a benefit formula—a participant’s retirement age, length of service, and pre-retirement earnings may affect the benefit received. Defined contribution plans are retirement plans that specify the level of employer contributions and place those contributions into individual employee accounts.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, State and local government employee benefits, March 2010 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2011/ted_20110309.htm (visited May 29, 2015).