401(k) Resource Center

401(k) Resource Center

401(k) plans hold $7.3 trillion in assets as of September 30, 2021, in about 600,000 plans, on behalf of about 60 million active participants and millions of former employees and retirees. Savings rolled over from 401(k)s and other employer plans also account for about half of the $13.2 trillion held in individual retirement account assets as of September 30, 2021.

Despite the increased popularity of 401(k) plans, more can be done to help working Americans take the fullest possible advantage of the opportunity to save for retirement through these plans. Research shows that Americans will save more through defined contribution plans with proper incentives, services, and guidance. Better understanding of 401(k)s, through education and disclosure, will also boost participation.

Policymakers should also take steps to ensure that the number of workers covered by 401(k) plans continues to expand. That means encouraging more employers, small and large, to open 401(k) plans by making them as simple and accessible as possible.

This resource center provides the fund industry's perspective on developments that affect 401(k) plans and their investors, including ICI's research and analysis of the 401(k) plan market and participant activity, as well as our advocacy for cost-effective 401(k) planning tools, services, and disclosure.

Frequently Asked Questions

ICI 401(k) News

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News Release

Target Date Funds Continue to Be Popular Investment Among Younger 401(k) Plan Participants

Target date fund investing continues to be prevalent in 401(k) plans, particularly among younger 401...
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News Release

ICI Research Finds Americans Overwhelmingly Preserved Retirement Nest Eggs in 2021

The majority of defined contribution (DC) plan retirement savers continued saving for retirement in...
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News Release

ICI Research Finds Americans Remain Committed to Saving for Retirement

Defined contribution (DC) plan participants’ contribution activity remained strong through the first...

ICI 401(k) Publications

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Perspective

Changes in 401(k) Plan Asset Allocation Among Consistent Participants, 2010–2018 (pdf)

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Perspective

401(k) Plan Asset Allocation, Account Balances, and Loan Activity in 2019 (pdf)

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Perspective

Target Date Funds: Evidence Points to Growing Popularity and Appropriate Use by 401(k) Plan Particip...

Background on 401(k) Topics

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Research

Ten Important Facts About 401(k) Plans (pdf)

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Fact Sheet

Limited Access Is Key to Retirement Saving Success (pdf)

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Video

Focus on Funds: An End-of-Summer Checkup for Your Long-Term Savings

Now is the perfect time to ensure your long-term savings are on track with a helpful checklist from...

ICI Policy Statements on 401(k) Topics

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Comment Letter

ICI Submits Written Statement to ERISA Advisory Council on Enhancing the Effectiveness of Disclosure...

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Comment Letter

Institute Responds to DOL RFI on Brokerage Windows

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Letters to the Editor & Responses

Better Retirements? Build on the System’s Current Successes

Better Retirements? Build on the System’s Current Successes By Brian Reid (As published in The Hill...