ICI Finds Americans Committed to Retirement Savings

An ICI research report on defined contribution (DC) participants’ activities found that the majority continued to save in their workplace retirement plans in 2012.

ICI’s latest quarterly study, based on recordkeeper data of nearly 24 million DC plan participant accounts, includes data through year-end 2012. At that time, assets in all DC plans accounted for more than one-fourth of all retirement assets and for nearly one-tenth of U.S. households’ aggregate financial assets.

Highlights of the study include:

  • 2.6% of DC plan participants cancelled their contributions in 2012, down slightly from 2.8% in 2011;
  • 3.4% of DC participants took withdrawals from their plans in 2012, the same as did in 2011;
  • Only 1.7% took hardship withdrawals in 2012, the same as in 2011;
  • 18.2% of DC participants had outstanding loans at the end of December 2012, down from 18.5% at year-end 2011 and even with 18.2% at year-end 2010; and
  • Less than one in 10 participants (9.7%) changed the asset allocation of their account balances in 2012, and 6.6% changed the asset allocation of their contributions—similar to reallocation rates in 2011.

ICI has tracked participant behavior through recordkeeper surveys since 2008. The report is available for download at www.ici.org/401k.