The nation’s largest administrator of retirement accounts advises that younger workers who boost savings by just 1% can meaningfully impact their monthly paycheck at retirement.
Fidelity Investments added the financial planning advice to its latest quarterly analysis, released Tuesday, of asset levels and participant behavior among the firm’s 12.4 million 401(k) plan participants.
The Boston-based investment manager, which administers the most retirement assets in both 401(k) plans and IRAs in the U.S., noted the average 401(k) balance rose nearly 11%, to $80,600, at the end of the second quarter from the previous year.
That balance was far higher — $211,800 (up nearly 19% from a year ago) on average — for continuously employed workers enrolled in a 401(k) plan for 10 years.
Another positive trend: For the past four years, workers have continued to increase their salary deferral rate.
But the asset management behemoth seized the occasion of its quarterly report as a teachable moment, warning that younger workers in particular are not saving at a recommended rate of 10% to 15% of income (including employer contributions).
“It is critical young workers realize that even the smallest increase to their monthly savings today [of] just 1% — whether in a 401(k) or an IRA — could have a meaningful impact on their retirement paycheck down the road,” said Fidelity’s James MacDonald, president of its Workplace Investing unit, in a news release.
To illustrate this impact, Fidelity says a 25-year-old worker earning $40,000 annually would need to put away just $33 a month.