Encore: Some bad news about retirement savings: 401(k) balances increased very little in the last 10 years

One of my favorite publications just came out: “How America Saves.” This annual report from Vanguard summarizes the statistics for the defined-contribution plans that the company administers. Vanguard tends to administer larger plans, so the plans are better-designed than average and participants have higher incomes.

In other words, it presents the best face of the 401(k) system.

In 2017, the average account balance was $103,900; the median was $26,300. The big difference between the median and the average is due to a small number of accounts that have really big balances. Average balances are more typical of long-tenured more affluent participants, while the median balance represents the typical participant.

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