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Many not interested in employer retirement plans

Althea Chang

Employers may not offer retirement plans simply because many of their workers simply don't want them, according to recent data.

"If you're younger or lower-income, having a wage that can just put food on the table or pay the rent and making sure that you have health insurance is really far more important," said Brian Reid, chief economist at the Investment Company Institute.

Beyond those living hand to mouth, younger and lower-income households are more likely to report that they save for reasons other than retirement, including establishing an emergency fund, paying off student loans or saving to buy a home or to start a family, according to the ICI.

As a result, companies that employ mostly younger workers may offer a higher wage instead of a 401(k), Reid said.

Generally, the average age of a company's workforce has a lot to do with whether the company offers retirement plans, according to the group.

Overall, just 50 percent of workers have access to employer-sponsored retirement plans, according to the ICI. But among workers ages 30 to 64, about 74 percent have access to retirement plans through their employers or spouses' employers, according to the group.

--By Althea Chang

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