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How Much Is Saved in 401(k)s

Increasingly, retirement savings plans have become the way American workers accumulate the money they will need to supplement their Social Security payments in retirement. The most common retirement savings plan is the 401(k). 401(k)s are offered by employers, but it is typically up to the employee to decide whether to participate and how much to contribute. Many employers also contribute, but are usually not required to do so.

Click on the teal numbers to read about the sources for the following statistics, and to see related numbers.

How Much People Are Saving

The following statistics are all “median” figures. “Median” is a half way point, where half of a group has more assets and half has less. Median is the most commonly cited measure used to describe retirement savings plan account balances.
Median retirement account balances for:
     Private-sector workers: $25,000
     Private-sector workers age 55-64: $40,000
Median retirement account balances for:  
     Public and private-sector households: $44,000
     Households with a worker or spouse age 55-64: $100,000

How Many People Are Participating

Private-sector workers offered retirement savings plans: 61%
Private-sector workers participating in retirement savings plans: 43%
Private-sector workers offered plans who participate: 70%
Private and public-sector households participating in a plan: 45%

Read Why Pensions Are Important to see statistics that demonstrate the importance of pension plans.

Find out the Annual Contribution and Benefit Limits for Retirement Plans