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Defined Contribution Plans (such as 401(k)s) and IRAs

Retirement Savings Accounts: Fees, Expenses, and Account Balances

Publication

For this report, CRS estimated the effect of 401(k) account expenses ranging from 0.4% to 2.0% of assets on the amounts accumulated in retirement accounts over a thirty-year period by married couples and single persons with high, median, and low earnings who contribute 6%, 8%, or 10% of earnings each year to a retirement account invested in a mix of stocks and bonds.

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Private Pension Plan Bulletin: Abstract of 2004 Form 5500 Annual Reports

Publication

This report, published annually, provides basic statistical data on the types of retirement plans offered, how many people participated in each type of plan, and the amount of assets in each type. The report also includes historical tables from 1975 to 2004.

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Why Some Workers Don’t Take 401(k) Plan Offers: Inertia versus Economics

Publication

This paper examines workers who do not choose to participate in pension plans offered by their employers. It investigates reasons why workers do not participate, and in particular it investigates the role of inertia and similar behavioral explanations for nonparticipation.

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Access, Participation, and Take-up Rates in Defined Contribution Retirement Plans among Workers in Private Industry, 2006

Publication

Employee participation rates for defined contribution retirement plans vary widely among groups of workers and their employers, primarily reflecting how frequently the employers provide access for employees to participate in these plans.

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Private Pensions: Changes Needed to Provide 401(k) Plan Participants and the Department of Labor Better Information on Fees

Publication

Because of concerns about the effects of 401(k) fees on participants’ retirement savings, GAO examined (1) the types of fees associated with 401(k) plans and who pays these fees, (2) how information on fees is disclosed to plan participants, and (3) how the Department of Labor oversees plan fees and certain business arrangements.

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

Publication

This report serves as an update of EBRI and ICI’s ongoing research into 401(k) plan participants’ activity through year-end 2005. The report includes account balance information for participants who consistently maintained accounts between 1999 and 2005 and account balances, asset allocations, and loan activity for all 401(k) participants at year-end 2005.

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Automatic Enrollment in 401(k) Plans

Publication

This brief summarizes the enrollment practices, IRS rulings, participation rates and policy issues surrounding automatic enrollment in 401(k) plans.

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Retirement Plan Participation and Contributions: Trends from 1998 to 2003

Publication

An analysis of data from the 2003 Survey of Income and Program Participation, measuring workers’ participation in employer-sponsored retirement plans from a nationally representative sample of American households.

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