Retirement Plan Participants Stayed the Course During 2018

Even though the markets were up and down throughout 2018, the ICI defined contribution plan recordkeeper data shows participants stayed the course by continuing to make annual contributions.

The data looks at a number of items such as contributions, distributions and various activity draw from defined contribution recordkeeper data covering 30 million plus participant accounts in defined contributions plans such as solo 401k plans, and ROBS 401k plans.

Here is some of the data found in the the ICI’s record keeper data report:

Contributions: Only 2.3 percent of defined contribution (e.g., 401k plans, and profit sharing plans) plan participants discontinued their contributions during 2018.

Distributions: In 2018, 3.4 percent of DC plan participants took withdrawals, the same share as in 2017. Levels of hardship withdrawal activity also remained low, with only 1.6 percent of DC plan participants taking hardship withdrawals during 2018, compared with 1.7 percent in 2017.

Consistent: In 2018, 9.7 percent of DC plan participants changed the asset allocation of their account balances, and 5.1 percent changed the asset allocation of their contributions. These levels of reallocation activity are similar to the activity levels in 2017.

401k Loans: At the end of December 2018, 16.7 percent of DC plan participants had plan loans outstanding, the same share as in 2017.

Additional Reading

The US Retirement Market, Fourth Quarter 2018:

The Economics of Providing 401(k) Plans: Services, Fees, and Expenses, 2017:
ICI Resources on 401(k) Plans:

About Mark Nolan

Each day I speak with energetic entrepreneurs looking to take the plunge into a new venture and small business owners eager to take control of their retirement savings. I am passionate about helping others find their financial independence. Having worked for over 20 years with some of the top retirement account custodian and insurance companies I have a deep and extensive knowledge of the complexities of self-directed 401ks and IRAs as well as retirement plan regulations. Learn more about Mark Nolan and My Solo 401k Financial >>


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