CHICAGO (Nov. 23, 2010) — The average 401(k) account was up 31.9 percent in 2009, after declining 27.8 percent the year before, according to a report released Nov. 22 by the Employee Benefit Research Institute and the mutual fund industry's Investment Company Institute (ICI).
The report also said the average 401(k) account grew at a rate of 10.5 percent annually for plan participants who held the same accounts from the end of 2003 though 2009, the most recent data available.
As of Dec. 31, 2009, 60 percent of 401(k) plan assets were invested in stocks, with 36 percent invested in fixed-income and money funds, the report said. The remainder was invested in other categories, including real estate, or could not be determined from the data, Ianthe Zabel, an ICI spokeswoman, said in an interview.
In addition, as of the end of last year, more than 75 percent of the plans in the EBRI/ICI 401(k) database offered target-date funds in their investment lineups; 33 percent of the participants in the database were invested in a target-date fund as of the same date, the report said.
The EBRI/ICI 401(k) database covers 51,852 plans with $1.2 trillion in total assets and 20.7 million participants.
The report, “401(k) Plan Asset Allocation, Account Balances, and Loan Activity in 2009,” also said 21 percent of all 401(k) participants eligible for loans had loans outstanding against their accounts during 2009, up from 18 percent who had loans outstanding against their accounts during the previous year. The size of the average loan was 15 percent of the remaining account balance during 2009, the study said.
“Retirement savers, by continuing to invest paycheck by paycheck, saw the benefits of being in the market in 2009, as stock values generally climbed during the year,” said Sarah Holden, ICI senior director of retirement and investor research, in an ICI news release.
This report appeared in Pensions & Investments magazine, a Chicago-based sister publication of Tire Business.