Do Young Adults with Student Debt Save Less for Retirement?

IB#18-13

The brief’s key findings are:

  • Student debt nearly tripled in real terms from 2005 to 2017, creating a financial burden that could potentially hamper retirement saving by young adults.
  • The analysis looked at the impact of student debt on 401(k) participation and assets for young workers who attended college, both graduates and non-graduates.
  • The results showed that student debt does not significantly affect 401(k) participation rates for either group.
  • However, student debt does seem to affect how much college graduates save: those with debt have only about half as much in assets by age 30 as those without debt.