Participation in employer-sponsored retirement plans—both pension and defined contribution plans—by heads of families declined two percentage points in 2004 to 46.1% from 48.7% in 2001, according to findings by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, the Associated Press reports.

Craig Copeland, who authored the report, said the decline was principally driven by the increase in defined contribution plans. Between the lag in time for eligibility to participate in a 401(k) plan and average participation rates of 70%, fewer people are taking advantage of such plans, Copeland said.

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