401(k) Statistics

Steve Goldstein
Steve Goldstein
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401(k) Statistics 2023: Facts about 401(k) outlines the context of what’s happening in the tech world.

LLCBuddy editorial team did hours of research, collected all important statistics on 401(k), and shared those on this page. Our editorial team proofread these to make the data as accurate as possible. We believe you don’t need to check any other resources on the web for the same. You should get everything here only 🙂

Are you planning to form an LLC? Maybe for educational purposes, business research, or personal curiosity, whatever the reason is – it’s always a good idea to gather more information about tech topics like this.

How much of an impact will 401(k) Statistics have on your day-to-day? or the day-to-day of your LLC Business? How much does it matter directly or indirectly? You should get answers to all your questions here.

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Top 401(k) Statistics 2023

☰ Use “CTRL+F” to quickly find statistics. There are total 60 401(K) Statistics on this page 🙂

401(K) “Latest” Statistics

  • According to Vanguard statistics, the average 401(k) account balance increased from 2019’s $106,478 average to $129,157 in 2020.[1]
  • Of employees who take part in savings and thrift programs according to 2005 statistics on benefits from the National Compensation Survey, 91% may select how their money are invested and 76% may choose how the employers matching funds are invested.[2]
  • The average match limit is 50% of income, and there is no statistical difference between those who have automatic enrollment and those who don’t, according to BLS.[3]
  • The rates of individuals are 65.4% and 72.1%, respectively, and statistically speaking, there is a difference between employees in plans with and without automatic enrolment.[3]
  • The maximum match rate varies statistically between the two categories of employees, with the rate for those without auto-enrollment being 3.5% and the rate for those with the plan feature being 3.2%. The maximum match rate averages 3.5% overall.[3]
  • According to Vanguard’s most recent statistics, the median account balance across accounts is substantially lower at $33,472, whereas the average 401(k) savings amount is far higher at over $100,000.[1]

401(K) “Other” Statistics

  • 18% of plan sponsors, according to Fidelity Investments data, are seeking to employ a new adviser.[4]
  • All-in fees have a wide range from 0.2% to 5%, though recent studies found the average all-in-fees to be 2.2%.[4]
  • According to 401k specialist, plans with $50 million assets cost 0.93% while small plans with $5 million assets cost 1.24%.[4]
  • Plan Sponsor Council of America’s survey found the use of automatic enrollment hit new highs with 61.2% of plans offering the feature.[4]
  • The switch from pensions to 401(k)s has been so thorough that 50% of all workers now have access to defined contribution plans.[4]
  • 36% of match-eligible workers over 59 at the typical company choose not to take advantage of arbitrage gains, which average 1.6% of their yearly salary, or $507.[5]
  • 401(k) withdrawals become required after age 70½. However, investors who continue to work after age 70½ (and don’t own 5% or more of the company sponsoring the 401(k) plan) can defer distributions from their current 401(k) until April 1 of the year after they retire.[6]
  • Missing a necessary distribution carries a penalty equal to 50% of the amount that should have been withdrawn.[6]
  • According to a Bloomberg Law research, proposed class actions contesting 401(k) plan costs are projected to climb fivefold between 2019 and 2020.[7]
  • Employer matching fund investments made by employees in business shares decreased by two thirds from 61% in 1985 to 19% in 2005.[2]
  • 19% of employees in all savings and thrift plans, including those with tiered match structures, had autoenrollment provisions in their plans.[3]
  • Plans without automatic enrollment make up a much lower fraction, and their maximum match rate is 2% or less of earnings.[3]
  • 25% of businesses with savings and thrift plans have at least one automatic enrolment plan at the establishment level.[3]
  • The default maximum contribution rate is 3.4% even with the built in increase of the default contribution rate in 22% of plans.[3]
  • The maximum match rate for a 401(k) plan with a match rate of 50 cents per dollar up to a cap of 6% of pay is 3% of pay.[3]
  • According to the PSCA’s 54th annual survey, which was mentioned above, 41.8% of plans had automatic enrollment in 2010.[3]
  • According to the Plan Sponsor Council of America PSCA’s annual poll of its member organizations, 46% of plans featured automatic enrollment features in 2011, up from 24% in 2006 and 4% in 1999.[3]
  • Only 1% of sponsors that used automatic enrollment discovered a negative impact, while 43% found automated enrollment to have a favorable influence on their nondiscrimination test results.[3]
  • The match rate for plans with automatic enrollment is about 8.2 percentage points (12% on average less expensive than plans without the feature).[3]
  • For plans without automatic enrollment, the maximum match rate averages 3.5%, whereas for plans with automatic enrollment, it is only 3.2%.[3]
  • Workers would need to contribute an average of 5.1% of the match ceiling in order to obtain the maximum match.[3]
  • 10% of nonunion employees had both defined benefit and defined contribution retirement plans, while 1% of non union employees had solely defined benefit retirement plans.[8]
  • 3% had access to solely defined benefit retirement plans, while another 12% had access to both defined benefit and defined contribution retirement plans.[8]
  • 54% of nonunion workers had access only to a defined contribution plan, compared with 27% of union workers.[8]
  • Among union members, 34% had both defined benefit and defined contribution retirement plans, while 30% had solely defined benefit retirement plans.[8]
  • The overall average 401(k) balance came to $121,500 as of the fourth quarter of 2020, according to Fidelity.[9]
  • The organization advises that in order to get there, you should constantly seek to set aside 15% of your salary, which includes both your employee contribution and the employer match, according to CNBC.[9]
  • The 2018 EBRI/ICI database covers 25% of the universe of 401(k) plan participants, 15% of plans, and 21% of 401(k) plan assets.[10]
  • An examination of account records of more than 22 million DC plan participants found that in 2008, only 3.7% of participants stopped contributing to their accounts.[11]
  • Around 13% of 401(k) members in their 20s had 20% or less of their account in stocks at year end, while 75% held more than 80%.[11]
  • Fund assets in 401(k) plans stood at $4.8 trillion, or 19% of total mutual fund assets as of June 30, 2021.[11]
  • The majority of participants maintained their asset allocations, with 12.4% altering their contribution investment mix and 14.4% changing the asset allocation of their account balances.[11]
  • Comparatively, in 2011, 401(k) assets were $3.1 trillion and made up 17% of the US retirement market.[11]
  • Mutual fund assets held in retirement accounts (IRAs and DC plan accounts, including 401(k) plans) were $12.1 trillion as of the end of June 2021, or 47% of overall mutual fund assets.[11]
  • 401(k) participants had 63% of their 401(k) plan balances invested directly or indirectly in equity securities at year-end 2018 in the EBRI/ICI 401(k) database.[11]
  • Retirement savings accounts represented somewhat more than 50% of long term mutual fund assets globally, but just 12% of money market assets globally.[11]
  • Employers’ firm stock makes up 5% of account balances, while the equity element of balanced funds makes up 20%.[11]
  • The most common matching arrangement for large 401(k) plans that use a simple match (19.4% of large plans use “50% of match on 6% of salary” configuration).[12]
  • In 2017, $9 billion employee contributions to 401(k) plans that do not offer employer contributions.[12]
  • 98% of 401(k) plans with more than $100 million in assets that offer employer contributions in 2017[12]
  • Saving in a 401(k) is the most popular way to save money for retirement (98%), followed by saving in a savings account (61%).[13]
  • With the assistance of a financial counselor, 77% of participants feel very confident in their capacity to make wise financial choices.[13]
  • About 70% of Baby Boomers said that having a savings account with a lifetime guarantee was very essential to them.[13]
  • According to Vanguard, 52% of their participants are invested in a single target date fund, and 97% of them are members of target date funds.[13]
  • 97% of plans now use personalized communication with participants, 93% of plans offer webinars and 90% offer mobile websites or apps.[13]
  • Millennials’ membership rates in 401(k) plans are unexpectedly high, at 82%, despite their low wages and heavy debt burdens.[13]
  • Government bonds on average give a 5.5% return annually, large-cap stocks returned 10.2% compounded annually, while small-cap stocks returned 12.1%.[13]
  • A defined contribution plan offered by the company is open to applications from more than 90% of workers.[13]
  • According to American Benefits Council (2019), 92% of American employees who have 401(k) plans say that having payroll deductions helps them save money.[13]
  • Approximately 25% of Baby Boomers don’t think their money will sustain them until retirement.[13]
  • 64% of participants check their accounts at least once every pay period, according to Betterment.[13]
  • 85% of participants believe that it is crucial that their plans have clear and affordable pricing.[13]
  • 51% of private industry workers have access to defined contribution retirement plans, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (2018).[13]
  • While the 401k is one of the best available retirement saving options for many people, just 41% of workers contribute to one, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.[14]

Also Read

How Useful is 401k

One of the main benefits of a 401k plan is the convenience and ease of saving for retirement. Contributions are automatically deducted from your paycheck, making it a simple way to consistently save without having to think about it. This automatic savings mechanism helps people build their retirement savings over time, without having to actively manage their investments.

Additionally, many employers offer matching contributions to incentivize employees to save for retirement. This means that for every dollar you contribute to your 401k, your employer may match a certain percentage of that amount. This “free money” can significantly boost your retirement savings and help you reach your financial goals sooner.

Another advantage of the 401k is the tax benefits it offers. Contributions to a traditional 401k are tax-deductible, meaning you can lower your taxable income and potentially pay less in taxes each year. Additionally, your investments in a 401k grow tax-deferred, meaning you won’t have to pay taxes on your earnings until you withdraw the funds in retirement. This can result in considerable tax savings over time.

Furthermore, the 401k provides a level of flexibility and control over your investments. Many plans offer a variety of investment options, ranging from conservative to aggressive, allowing you to tailor your portfolio to meet your risk tolerance and financial goals. You also have the option to change your investments over time as your financial situation and goals evolve.

Despite these advantages, the 401k does have some limitations that individuals should be aware of. One challenge is the potential for high fees associated with some 401k plans. These fees can eat into your investment returns over time, reducing the overall growth of your retirement savings. It’s important to carefully review the fees associated with your 401k plan and consider alternative investment options if necessary.

Additionally, the 401k is subject to market fluctuations, meaning your account balance can rise and fall with the performance of the stock market. While long-term investors may not be too concerned about short-term market volatility, it’s important to regularly review and adjust your investment strategy to ensure that you are on track to meet your retirement goals.

In conclusion, the 401k is a valuable tool for saving for retirement and offers numerous benefits such as convenience, employer matching contributions, tax advantages, and investment flexibility. While it may not be perfect and comes with its own set of limitations, the 401k can be a powerful asset in helping individuals build their financial security for the future. It is important to take advantage of this valuable retirement savings tool and make the most of it to secure a comfortable and worry-free retirement.


  1. businessinsider – https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/average-401k-balance
  2. bls – https://www.bls.gov/bls/peoplebox7.htm
  3. bls – https://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2015/article/automatic-enrollment-employer-match-rates-and-employee-compensation-in-401k-plans.htm
  4. forusall – https://blog.forusall.com/401k-statistics/
  5. mit – https://direct.mit.edu/rest/article/93/3/748/57953/100-Bills-on-the-Sidewalk-Suboptimal-Investment-in
  6. usnews – https://money.usnews.com/money/retirement/slideshows/10-401-k-facts-everyone-should-know
  7. bloomberglaw – https://news.bloomberglaw.com/employee-benefits/401k-fee-suits-flood-courts-on-pace-for-fivefold-jump-in-2020
  8. bls – https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2021/67-percent-of-private-industry-workers-had-access-to-retirement-plans-in-2020.htm
  9. cnbc – https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/24/how-much-americans-have-saved-in-their-401k-by-age.html
  10. ebri – https://www.ebri.org/retirement/401(k)-database
  11. ici – https://www.ici.org/faqs/faq/401k/faqs_401k
  12. morningstar – https://www.morningstar.com/articles/1000743/100-must-know-statistics-about-401k-plans
  13. myshortlister – https://www.myshortlister.com/insights/401k-statistics
  14. personalcapital – https://www.personalcapital.com/blog/retirement-planning/average-401k-balance-age/

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