401(K) Plan Asset Allocation, Account Balances, and Loan Activity in 2005

20 Pages Posted: 24 Aug 2006

See all articles by Sarah Holden

Sarah Holden

Investment Company Institute

Jack VanDerhei

Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI)


Over the past two decades, 401(k) plans have grown to be the most common type of employer-sponsored retirement plan in the United States, and now serve as the most popular defined contribution (DC) plan, as measured by number of participants and assets. In 2005, 47 million American workers were active 401(k) plan participants. By year-end 2005, 401(k) plan assets had grown to represent 17 percent of all retirement assets, with $2.4 trillion in assets. In an ongoing collaborative effort, the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and the Investment Company Institute (ICI) collect annual data on millions of 401(k) plan participants as a means to accurately portray how these participants manage their accounts. This paper serves as an update of EBRI and ICI's ongoing research into 401(k) plan participants' activity through year-end 2005. The report includes two sections: The first focuses on account balance information for participants who consistently maintained accounts between 1999 and 2005. The second provides a snapshot of all 401(k) participants at year-end 2005, and reviews their account balances, asset allocations, and loan activity.

Keywords: 401(k) plans, Asset allocation, Employment-based benefits, Pension plan assets, Pension plan loans, Retirement plans, Self-directed investments

JEL Classification: D31, G11, J26

Suggested Citation

Holden, Sarah and VanDerhei, Jack, 401(K) Plan Asset Allocation, Account Balances, and Loan Activity in 2005. EBRI Issue Brief, No. 296, August 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=926348

Sarah Holden (Contact Author)

Investment Company Institute ( email )

1401 H Street, NW
Research Department
Washington, DC 20005
United States
(202) 326-5915 (Phone)

Jack VanDerhei

Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) ( email )

1100 13th Street, NW
Suite 878
Washington, DC 20005-4204
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.ebri.org

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