Thursday, May 18, 2017

Retirement Data: Fidelity Plan Balances Q1 2017 and Who Contributes to IRAs?

Fidelity has updated their data on balances in retirement accounts. Balances hit another record at the end of the first quarter of 2017. They highlight some interesting data on the overlap of HSA's (Health Savings Accounts) and retirement plan contributions. Please read the press release to learn more about their conclusions from the latest update.

 Source: Fidelity Retirement Savings Analysis

In April 2017, Anqi Chen and Alicia H. Munnell at Boston Center for Retirement Research published a report titled: Who Contributes to Individual Retirement Accounts? They conclude:

"In 1974, IRAs were included in ERISA to ensure that those without an employer plan at work had some way to save on a tax-preferred basis. Today, IRAs are primarily a receptacle for rollovers from employer plans and, among those contributing to an IRA, more than half are also contributing to an employer plan. It is time to turn IRAs back into an active savings vehicle by auto-enrolling those without an employer plan into these accounts, with the ability to opt out. Ideally, such an auto-IRA policy would be a federal government initiative. But, absent federal action, a number of states are stepping into the breach."

 Source: Who Contributes to Individual Retirement Accounts?

In the United States our retirement ecosystem continues to evolve. When we look at the data it helps to highlight what is working and where we need to improve. Reading through retirement reports over time shows two trends that I see folks focusing on:

1) Increasing participation rates in retirement planning accounts

2) Helping individuals connect their retirement accounts to retirement income

It is fascinating to see how retirement products and services will evolve and be shaped by the marketplace.

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