Close
ThinkAdvisor

Retirement Planning > Retirement Investing

Fidelity: Health Savers are Retirement Savers

X
Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

U.S. workers who contribute to health savings accounts (HSAs) may be better than comparable workers at saving for retirement.

Analysts at Fidelity Investments, Boston — a money manager with a large life insurance subsidiary — looked at 48,000 workers who ended 2010 with both Fidelity-managed HSAs and accounts in corporate 401(k) plans with records kept by Fidelity.

The average 401(k) balance was $71,500 for all 401(k) particiapnts and $170,500 for Fidelity 401(k) plan participants who were also Fidelity HSA holders.

The analysts tried to filter out the effects of income by performing a similar comparison of HSA-owning and non-HSA-owning workers in the same income category.

In the $20,000 to $40,000 annual earnings category, for example, the average 401(k) balance for a 401(k) plan-only participant was $19,000; the average 401(k) plan balance for a participant with an HSA was $30,000.

In the $100,000 to $150,000 earnings category, the average 401(k) balance was $159,000 for a worker without a Fidelity HSA and $260,000 for a worker with an HSA.

The difference may be partly due to differences in employers: Employers with generous 401(k) plan matching programs may also have generous HSA matching programs. But Fidelity HSA holders also have an above-average 401(k) plan deferral rate: The average deferral rate is 8.9% for the HSA holders and 8.2% for participants without HSAs.

“An HSA, like a 401(k), is a benefit that employers can offer workers to help create a culture of saving in the workplace,” William Applegate, a Fidelity vice president, says in a statement.

Other HSA coverage from National Underwriter Life & Health: