401(k) Plans in 2010: An Update from the SCF

Alicia H. Munnell

IB#12-13

The brief’s key findings are:

  • Progress in the 401(k) system stalled in the wake of the economic crisis, according to the 2010 Survey of Consumer Finances data.
  • Despite an increase in auto-enrollment, the percent of employees not participating ticked up.
  • And 401(k) contributions slipped, while leakages through cash outs, loans, and hardship withdrawals increased.
  • As a result, the typical household approaching retirement had only $120,000 in 401(k)/IRA holdings in 2010, about the same as in 2007.
  • This amount would provide only $575 in monthly income, assuming a household purchases a joint-and-survivor annuity.