Americans Remained Committed to Their 401(k)s in 2017

Only 2.7% discontinued contributions, according to the ICI.

Americans remain committed to saving for their futures, according to the Investment Company Institute’s (ICI’s) report, “Defined Contribution Plan Participants’ Activities, 2017.” A mere 2.7% discontinued contributions during 2017, and 3.4% took withdrawals, virtually on par with the 3.3% who did so in 2016.

Only 1.7% took hardship withdrawals, up only slightly from the 1.6% who did so the year earlier. In 2017, 9.3% of defined contribution (DC) plan participants changed the asset allocation of their account balances, and 5.5% changed the allocation of their contributions. The ICI said this is similar to the activity in 2016.

Loan activity ticked downward, with 16.7% of DC plan participants having an outstanding loan at the end of December 2017, down from 17.0% the year earlier. The ICI also said that assets in 401(k) plans and other DC plans in 2017 rose to $7.7 trillion, comprising 27% of the nation’s total $28.2 trillion in retirement assets.

The ICI noted that in 2017, the S&P 500 rose 21.8%. ICI’s analysis is based on a survey of a cross section of recordkeeping firms representing a broad range of DC plans, covering more than 30 million DC plan accounts.