401(k) Plans and Race

Alicia H. Munnell Christopher Sullivan

IB#9-24

The brief’s key findings are:

  • Blacks and Hispanics are less likely to participate in 401(k)s and, when they do, they contribute at lower rates.
  • Even after controlling for age, job tenure, and earnings, these patterns persist.
  • However, adding education, wealth, and plan characteristics makes the differences disappear.
  • So the best way to boost saving among minorities is to ignore race and instead improve plan design for disadvantaged workers.