Retirement Trends

Record-High Contribution Levels Help Propel Retirement Balances To Highest Levels In More Than Two Years

401(k) savings rates reach record high

Small business retirement savers surpass account balances of traditional 401(k) holders, according to a new report from Fidelity Investments.

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–According to the latest retirement data from Fidelity Investments®’ Q1 2024 retirement analysis, record-high contribution levels coupled with positive market conditions pushed average account balances to their highest levels since the fourth quarter of 2021. Long-term savers observed the greatest improvement, which is good news, especially for the more than 4.9 million workers that have been in their 401(k) plan for five years or more.

“We are encouraged to see account balances increase, providing solid proof that retirement savers are remaining invested and continuing to make steady contributions – while seeing the financial benefits as a result,” said Sharon Brovelli, president of Workplace Investing at Fidelity Investments. “With continued participation across generations and income levels, retirement savers will continue to build better financial futures, which is essential to the financial health of so many Americans and our economy.”

In honor of Small Business Month, this quarter’s retirement analysis also focused on retirement savers employed by small businesses, who are also demonstrating impressive savings behaviors. In fact, Fidelity’s small business data shows the average account balances of those with a SEP IRA, SIMPLE IRA, or Self-Employed 401(k) are surpassing those of traditional 401(k) holders.

“Small businesses are at the heart of American communities and it is encouraging to see that when small business employees are given the opportunity to save, they run with it,” says Roger Stiles, president of Fidelity Wealth. “Offering small businesses a variety of options to help meet their retirement needs is an important way to close any existing retirement coverage gaps and get more Americans saving for retirement.”

As one of the country’s leading workplace benefits providers1 and America’s No. 1 IRA provider2, go here to see Fidelity’s latest analysis of savings behaviors and account balances for more than 45 million IRA3, 401(k)4, and 403(b)5 retirement accounts. Additional details and insight on retirement trends and data can be found in Fidelity’s latest quarterly edition of “Building Financial Futures” as well as the Workplace Insights hub, which explores original research, data-driven insights, and the latest industry trends.




About Fidelity Investments
Fidelity’s mission is to strengthen the financial well-being of our customers and deliver better outcomes for the clients and businesses we serve. Fidelity’s strength comes from the scale of our diversified, market-leading financial services businesses that serve individuals, families, employers, wealth management firms, and institutions. With assets under administration of $13.7 trillion, including discretionary assets of $5.3 trillion as of March 31, 2024, we focus on meeting the unique needs of a broad and growing customer base. Privately held for 78 years, Fidelity employs more than 75,000 associates across the United States, Ireland, and India. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit
1 Based on PLANSPONSOR Magazine’s “2023 Recordkeeping Survey,” June 2023 and “Plan Administration Guide, Part 1” which offers insight into the provider marketplace for defined benefit (DB), stock plan and health savings account (HSA) administration, May 2018.
2 Based on Cerulli Associates’ Top-10 IRA Providers by AUA, 2Q 2021–2Q 2023.
3 Fidelity business analysis of 15.3 million IRA accounts as of March 31, 2024. Considers only active participants with balance.
4 Fidelity Investments Q1 2024 401(k) data based on 25,800 corporate defined contribution plans and 23.9 million participants as of March 31, 2024. These figures include the advisor-sold market but exclude the tax-exempt market. Excluded from the behavioral statistics are non-qualified defined contribution plans and plans for Fidelity’s own employees.
5 Fidelity Investments Q1 2024 403(b) data based on 10,055 Tax-exempt plans and 8.6 million plan participants as of March 31, 2024. Considers average balance across all active plans for 6.33 million unique individuals employed in tax-exempt market.


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