The Best Places to Find a Retirement Plan

Some geographic locations have more retirement plan participants.

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Just over half of full-time workers participated in an employer's retirement plan last year. But where you live could play an important role in the likelihood that you will be offered and participate in a retirement plan.

Employees in the upper Midwest and Northeast had the highest levels of participation in retirement plans in 2007, according to an Employee Benefit Research Institute analysis released today. Wisconsin topped the list with approximately 68 percent of full-time workers preparing for retirement. Workers in the South, West, and Southwest had the lowest participation levels. Florida bottomed out the list with 42 percent of workers partaking in an employer's plan.

Participation was significantly lower for workers in the private sector. About 42 percent of private-sector employees between ages 21 and 64 engaged in retirement plans in 2007, versus 75 percent in the public sector. Workers from Milwaukee-Racine-Waukesha, Wis., and Huntsville-Decatur, Ala., had the highest participation rates in the private sector, while Macon-Warner-Robins-Fort Valley, Ga., Fresno-Madera, Calif., and Los Angles-Long Beach-Riverside, Calif., residents had the lowest. In the public sector, Huntsville-Decatur, Ala., had the highest participation levels and Macon-Warner-Robins-Fort Valley, Ga., again bottomed the list.

Here's a look at the top states for retirement plan participation.

Full-Time Workers Who Participated in an Employment-Based Retirement Plan in 2007

1. Wisconsin 67.7 percent
2. Iowa 66.9 percent
3. North Dakota 65.8 percent
4. Connecticut 65.0 percent
5. Minnesota 64.4 percent
6. Indiana 63.9 percent
7. New Hampshire 63.7 percent
8. Washington 63.5 percent
9. Maine 63.3 percent
10. West Virginia 63.0 percent

Source: Employee Benefit Research Institute