American workers are contributing to defined-contribution plans at about the same rate as they did last year, according to the latest study from the Investment Company Institute.
Washington, D.C.-based ICI found that assets in all DC plans represented more than one-quarter of assets in the total retirement market and accounted for almost one-tenth of U.S. households’ combined financial assets at the end of 2013.
The majority of DC plan participants continued contributing to their plans in 2013. Only 2.7 percent of participants stopped contributing, compared with 2.6 percent in 2012, according to the ICI.
Generally, participants did not tap their accounts, the study found. DC plan withdrawals in 2013 remained low and were in line with the prior year’s activity; 3.5 percent of participants took withdrawals in 2013, compared with 3.4 percent in 2012. An additional 1.7 percent took hardship withdrawals during 2013, the same as in 2012.
Loan activity remained elevated compared with five years ago. At the end of December 2013, 18.2 percent of DC plan participants had loans outstanding, the same level seen at year-end 2012, compared with 18.5 percent at year-end 2011 and 15.3 percent at year-end 2008.
Most DC plan participants stayed the course in their asset allocations, as stock values generally rose throughout the year. In 2013, 10.7 percent of participants changed the asset allocation of their account balances and 7.4 percent changed the asset allocation of their contributions -- similar reallocation levels were observed in 2012.