The majority of owners and workers at business with fewer than 10 employees have no access to retirement plans or savings, a recent national survey found.

In a poll of more than 3,000 employers of so-called micro-businesses, 80 percent said they don't provide retirement plans -- either for themselves or their workers -- according to the National Association of the Self-Employed, a Washington-based advocacy group.

Most employers cited the costs of administering plans as the biggest obstacle, relying instead on Social Security as a source of retirement income.

"Micro-business owners and the self-employed face so many challenges, including soaring health-care costs, and as a result, retirement planning is overshadowed by those more immediate needs," Kristie Darien, the group's legislative director, said in a statement.

There are about 20 million micro-businesses operating across the United States, the group estimates.

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Published on: May 16, 2007