UpFront | Published in March 2017

401(k) Record Levels Reached

By Lee Barney | March 2017
Contributions to, and balances in, 401(k) plans, as well as individual retirement accounts (IRAs), reached record levels on its platform last year, Fidelity Investments reports. 401(k) balances averaged $92,500 at the end of the fourth quarter, rising by an average of $4,300 from 2015.
The total amount that people contributed to their 401(k) plan in 2016, including company
matches, averaged $10,200, another record. Meanwhile, the percentage of people with an outstanding 401(k) loan dropped to 21%—the lowest it has been since fourth-quarter 2009.
“The key to a successful retirement strategy is having a solid contribution rate and not tapping
your 401(k) for short-term expenses,” says Kevin Barry, president of workplace investing at Fidelity. “More than one in four Fidelity 401(k) savers increased their savings rate in 2016—an all-time high—and the number of people with a 401(k) loan dropped to its lowest point in seven years. This shows people are taking the right steps toward reaching their retirement savings goals and illustrates how the 401(k) is helping millions of people prepare for retirement.”

Average Balances

Five years ago
One year ago
Q3 2016
Q4 2016
Source: Fidelity Investments