Scant Withdrawals From DC Plans in First Half of Year

The number of participants taking hardship withdrawals remained less than 1%.

Few defined contribution (DC) plan participants took withdrawals from their plans in the first half of the year, the Investment Company Institute reports. Just 2.2% of participants took withdrawals, a mere blip from the 2.1% that did so in the first half of 2016. Only 0.9% of participants took hardship withdrawals, on par with 2016.

In the first half of the year, 16.7% of participants had an outstanding loan from their DC plan, up only slightly from the 16.6% of participants who could say the same at the end of the first half of 2016. However, this is up from 15.3% at the end of 2008 and down slightly from the 18.5% at the end of 2011.

Participants also remained committed to investing in their DC plan, with a mere 1.6% ceasing contributions, down from 1.9% in the first half of last year.

Participants also displayed contentment with their investment choices, with only 6.8% reallocating their account balances and 4.3% directing new investments for their contributions. Account balance changes were on par with 2016 and contribution reallocations were slightly lower than in the first half of 2016, ICI says.

“The withdrawal and contribution data indicate that, essentially, all [defined contribution] DC plan participants continued to save in their retirement plans at work,” ICI says in its report, “Defined Contribution Plan Participants’ Activities, First Half 2017,” based on data from recordkeepers.