Empower: Public transportation workers on fast track with retirement savings

Empower: Public transportation workers on fast track with retirement savings

Balances and engagement rates among the highest in public sector

Transit workers hold unique roles that ultimately drive better plan performance

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, COLO., June 27, 2024 – Workers in the nation’s public transit systems tend to save at better rates and engage with their retirement plans more frequently than other public sector workers.*

Empower also announced today that several public transportation clients have renewed their relationship with the retirement services provider while they welcomed a new California-based transportation authority to their expansive roster of government clients.

The new data shows that when it comes to retirement savings plans, transportation workers in the public sector tend to outperform other public sector segments.**

  • Transportation employees’ average account balance is more than 15% greater than the broader government employee base.
  • 66% of transportation employees engage with their retirement plan versus 53% of all government employees.
  • Half of transportation employees are Gen Xers, individuals aged 42-59.

“Employees in the U.S. transportation industry work around the clock to help drive the quality of life that  communities depend on. It is a critically important sector and those who work within it are underrecognized for their service to keeping our local economies moving,” said Rich Linton, president and chief operating officer at Empower.

Linton noted that Empower provides services to reflect plan design, administrative processes, security protocols, technology enhancements and communications strategies to align with their clients and participants’ needs.

“Transportation workers are literally always on the move and because of that we believe our mobile phone app and extended contact center hours are essential for this segment,” said Dan Morrison, executive vice president and head of government and Taft-Hartley markets at Empower.

Morrison indicated that like most public employees, transportation workers seek out help preparing their finances for retirement and Empower has put a financial advice offering as a central feature in every public plan.  

“We believe it’s a critical component to keep public workers on the right track for retirement,” he said.

The nation’s second largest retirement provider1 has renewed mandates across the country with New Jersey Transit, Chicago Transit Authority, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority and METRO Transit Authority of Harris County. These recommitments encompass approximately 50,000 transit authority plan participants who will continue to receive their financial and retirement benefits through their employer-sponsored retirement plans delivered by Empower.

Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) based out of San Jose, Calif., and Empower recently began a new relationship in September 2023. VTA is an independent special district that provides sustainable, accessible, community-focused transportation options to the Silicon Valley. The Authority’s 457(b) plan serves the needs of approximately 2,750 participants.

“We now support nearly 1,200 transportation organizations across the country and are actively engaging with other districts to continue our growth and provide these essential workers with tailored solutions and advice to help them achieve retirement success,” said Morrison. “We value the trust these clients have with Empower and our commitment to them is always our top priority.”

Empower serves state-level plans for 29 of 50 states and in total supports the retirement needs of more than 4 million public workers exceeding more than $226 billion in assets across Empower’s government business.

Empower is one of the largest providers of government 457 retirement plans in the country, serving entities across states, cities, counties, municipalities, associates, territories and special districts (such as transit and utility), as well as police and fire departments.


Recognized as the second-largest retirement services provider in the U.S.1 by total participants, Empower administers approximately $1.5 trillion in assets for more than 18.5 million investors2 through the provision of retirement plans, advice, wealth management and investments. Connect with us on empower.com, Facebook, X, LinkedIn, TikTok and Instagram.

Media contacts:

Stephen Gawlik - Stephen.Gawlik@empower.com

Mandy Cassano - Mandy.Cassano@empower.com

1 Pensions & Investments DC Recordkeeper Survey (2023). Ranking measured by total number of participants as of September 2022.

2 As of March 31, 2024. Assets under Administration (AUA) refers to the assets administered by Empower. AUA does not reflect the financial stability or strength of a company.

*Empower’s 2024 Government Research – Empowering America’s Financial Journey

**Analysis of 1.9 million active defined contribution participant accounts with balances greater than $0 from state and local governments with Empower as the recordkeeper as of 12/31/23.

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