Fed Report Shows 401(k) Holdings Increased 42 Percent Since 2019

Fed Report Shows 401(k) Holdings Increased 42 Percent Since 2019

Despite COVID and the economic disruption that it caused, the Federal Reserve’s 2022 Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) found that the median 401(k) balance for working households nearing retirement rose from $144,000 to $204,000 between 2019 and 2022.

Details were summarized in an Issue Brief published by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

  • Yes, but: The 401(k) gains occurred mostly among higher-income households. The balances of households aged 45-54 failed to keep pace with inflation and those of households 35-44 declined in nominal terms.

Why It Matters: The SCF offers a comprehensive view of households’ retirement account assets, including IRAs, providing valuable insights for analysis. The SCF data includes information on both 401(k) holdings and IRAs, which are important components of retirement savings.

Bottom line: Half of households do not have a retirement plan and will have to rely solely on Social Security. Ensuring the solvency of Social Security is clearly a high priority.