The Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) has published data outlining just how much pension coverage has become DC-centric over 3+ decades. Interestingly, in both 1979 and 2011, an estimated 45% of all private-sector workers were covered by either a DB or DC plan. Over the years, the figure has remained relatively steady in the 45%-50% range. What is different is that of those who are covered by a retirement plan, there has been an almost complete transformation from DB to DC. For those participating in a retirement plan in 1979, 62% were in a DB plan, 16% in a DC plan, and 22% in both. By contrast, in 2011, 7% were in a DB plan, 69% in a DC plan, and 24% in both.
These days, many DC plans have added automated features to help participants save better. Some have suggested that this makes the DC plans more DB-like. With the well-documented struggles of participants to save, it will be interesting in the future to see if there is a move toward the center in terms of DB and DC coverage.