Colorado’s Retirement Crisis: Updated Data & Analysis

Workplace retirement plans are a critical tool for families to adequately prepare for retirement. Unfortunately, nearly one million Colorado private sector employees in their prime working years don’t participate in a workplace plan. Of those not participating, 80 percent (roughly 780,000 Coloradans) don’t even have access to a plan at their workplace.

Related: Older Adults in Colorado’s Workforce

By passing SB19-173, which established a board to study the creation of a Secure Savings Retirement Plan, Colorado is taking significant steps to address the retirement crisis. To better inform this process and shed light on the crisis in Colorado, the Bell has examined data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey to detail and project the access and participation rates of Colorado private sector workers.

Key Findings

  • 54 percent, about 980,000 Coloradans, don’t participate in a workplace retirement plan
  • 43 percent, about 780,000 Coloradans, don’t have access to a workplace retirement plan
  • Workers in low-wage jobs and small business workers overwhelmingly (over 60 percent) lack access to a workplace retirement plan
  • Workers aged 25 to 35 are the least likely of any age group to participate in (37 percent participate) or have access to a workplace retirement plan (47 percent lack access)
  • Black and Hispanic workers are the least likely to participate in (37 percent and 29 percent participate, respectively) or have access to a workplace retirement plan (46 percent and 59 percent lack access, respectively)

The development of a Secure Savings Retirement Plan, or a public-private partnership that would offer a workplace retirement savings plan for private sector workers in Colorado could benefit close to a million Coloradans. It could have particularly strong benefits for workers who are younger, black or Hispanic, low income, and/or working for small firms.

As the Colorado Secure Savings Plan Board continues to analyze the viability of a plan within Colorado, the Bell will continue to provide you with updated analysis of the retirement crisis and potential solutions moving forward. Start now by reading our updated brief with data about retirement plan participation and access rates in Colorado.