Average 401(k) account balances nearly double since crisis

ICI chief Stevens says assumption that 401(k) plans aren't working is wrong

Oct 17, 2013 @ 9:32 am

By Barry B. Burr

401(k), ICI, paul schott stevens, crisis
+ Zoom

The average 401(k) account balance was $94,482 at the end of 2011, the most recent figures available, up from $49,932 at the end of 2008, Paul Schott Stevens, president and CEO of the Investment Company Institute, said Wednesday at a news briefing in Chicago.

The average balance was $76,534 in 2007, Mr. Stevens added. The numbers are based on 8.6 million 401(k) plan participants who had account balances at the end of each of those years.

Efforts to reduce 401(k) tax incentives would harm plans and participants, Mr. Stevens said. Although there have been proposals to reduce the incentives, no legislation has been introduced.

Fees have come down for 401(k) mutual funds, he said, although he did not have specific figures. He noted three-quarters of all stock mutual funds used for 401(k) plans have a fee of less than 1%.

(Don't miss: 6 disastrous 401(k) mistakes)

The assumption that 401(k) plans aren't working is wrong, he said.

The 401(k) plan “is a very powerful retirement savings tool for people who use it through their working life,” said Mr. Stevens, adding, “It will contribute to a comfortable retirement.”

(Barry B. Burr is editorial page editor at sister publication Pensions & Investments.)


What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

Sponsored financial news

Featured video


What to do when your partnership ends

Breaking up is hard to do: and that is certainly true when it comes to advisory firms. Financial Adviser Rob Holdford tells his story and explains how you can survive and thrive when a partnership dissolves.

Video Spotlight

The Search for Income

Sponsored by PGIM Investments

Recommended Video

Path to growth

Latest news & opinion

E*Trade acquiring custodian Trust Company of America

Discount broker buying second-tier custodian for $275 million.

Another thousand Dow points higher, and investors yawn

Market milestones keep falling like dominoes, with 51 records broken so far this year.

LPL retains $570 million with super-OSJ deal

Kansas-based nVision Wealth will come under supervision of Chicago-based IHT Wealth Management.

How does your advisory firm stack up?

Comparing a firm's pay to the competition can point out vast flaws.

10 signs your client is cheating on you

Sure signs that clients may be on the way out the door.


Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print