Average 401k balance reaches record high

According to Fidelity Investments, the average 401k balance is up more than 11 percent from a year ago, which was also a record.

By MSN Money Partner Nov 15, 2013 3:08PM

This post is from Brandon Ballenger at partner site Money Talks News. 

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyThings are looking good for people with 401k's.

At Fidelity Investments, the largest 401k provider, average balances reached a record high of $84,300 in the third quarter, Fidelity says. The average is based on Fidelity's "corporate defined contribution plan base of nearly 21,000 plans and 12.6 million participants."

401k © Don Farrall, Photodisc, Getty ImagesThe average is up more than 11 percent from $75,900 a year ago. More than 70 percent of the gains came from stock market growth. "While stocks dipped at the end of September amid fears of the government shutdown, the Dow Jones Industrial Average still ended the month up by more than 10 percent from a year prior," CNNMoney says. The S&P 500 was up more than 15 percent.

The other 28 percent of gains came from the contributions of employees and employers. 

You should always snatch up every dime toward a 401k your employer offers in the form of matching — it's free money. 

For those who have been plugging away at their nest eggs for a while, averages were much higher. "Employees who were continuously active in their 401k plan over the last 10 years saw the average balance rise 19.6 percent to $223,100 during the past 12 months," Fidelity says. "For pre-retirees age 55 or older who have been active in their plan for at least 10 years, the average balance is now $269,500."

We recently wrote that about half of 401k account holders find them confusing. If you're confused about your 401k or other retirement investments, and it's keeping you from participating, learn more about it. There will come a day when you'll be glad you did.  

More on Money Talks News

Tags: Investing
Nov 17, 2013 6:02PM
When the Obamacare taxes start in 2014, people will be putting even less into 401k's.  With the cost of the health insurance, no interest being paid on folks IRA's, CD's and even savings accounts, the anti-business attitude at the White House, the nonexistent jobs plan, I just don't see too much to be happy about.
Nov 17, 2013 10:58AM
Don't worry, Obama and Wall Street will take care of that, probably in the next year or two.
Nov 17, 2013 7:00PM

$84K sounds low, but a lot of people might also have money in IRAs. I, for instance, have no 401k but I do have an IRA worth nearly $210,000, and it's fully invested in stocks. My wife has only $35K in her 401k plan, but her IRA is also worth another $210,000, and we're both only 48.

Nov 16, 2013 9:44PM
$84,000.   It's low, but it's an average and young people who just started probably don't have much more than a few thousand in theirs yet.
Nov 17, 2013 10:15AM
401k's reach a record high in the midst of an asset bubble!  You can save, but it doesn't do you any good if you can't make a safe predictable return from those savings.  $84,300 or $269,500 doesn't amount to much if you have to immediately start spending down the principal.  It's great for Fidelity and their ilk though. You keep working and contributing, and they get to keep your money.  Hey, with any luck you'll die before you retire and your family won't know that Fidelity has your savings.
Nov 18, 2013 8:42AM
It's time to move a good portion of that money into fixed assets until after the fed stops meddling with the money supply. What good is growth if you let it all get lost when the market crashes?

Let's see average $269,500 in retirement age 401K plans.


going to live until you are 90 after retirement. 25 years after retirement age of 65


that is just about $10,000 a year from retirement money.


Oh that is about what Obama Care is going to charge you for health insurance imagine that.


We are so doomed folks.

Nov 18, 2013 9:58AM
Just wait until Obama figures out how to tax the capital gains before you withdraw it. They need new tax revenues to make up for the smaller Obamacare tax intake.

Then the levels will go down again.

Nov 18, 2013 10:32AM

Read between the lines...........  The middle class is shrinking due to quality job disintegration. They have raided their retirement so who does that leave. Upper income folks. Fewer retirement accounts with larger balances = New Record High Retirement  AVERAGE Account Balances.


It is just spin from the spin specialist here.

Nov 18, 2013 2:04PM
Much of the middle and lower class does not participate in the stock market, right? Many average joe that depend on their retirement should move out of stocks into cash. You will wish you had!
Nov 16, 2013 12:01AM
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