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Americans rely heavily on 401(k) plans for retirement

401(k) Plan participation is as strong as ever
— American Benefits Council

More than 94.6 million Americans rely on a 401(k) or other employer sponsored Defined Contribution (DC) retirement savings plan to help them prepare for retirement.


The recently released 401(k) fast facts sheet published by the American Benefits Council in July of 2017 includes several key data points highlighting the value of the 401(k) savings plan as tool for Americans to leverage as they work toward financial security in their golden years:

  • 87.6% of eligible employees have a balance in their 401(k) plan and 81.9% contributed their own money to the plan

  • The average 12-month savings rate reached a record high of $10,200 in Q4 of 2016

  • Participation rates for employees earning $20,000 to $40,000 per year have increased to 59% (versus only 47% four years ago)

  • 91% of U.S. households surveyed have a favorable opinion 401(k) Plans and 83% believe providing retirement savings incentives should be a national priority