The average U.S. 401(k) balance decreased to $107,700 in the third quarter of 2023, down four per cent from Q2, but up by 11 per cent from a year ago, according to a new report by Fidelity Investments.
Reflecting a combination of employee and employer 401(k) contributions, the total savings rate for the third quarter was 13.9 per cent, up slightly from a year ago. The average 403(b) account balance decreased to $97,200, down five per cent from last quarter, but up 11 per cent from last year.
Just 2.8 per cent of plan members took a loan from their 401(k), up slightly from 2.4 per cent in the previous quarter. In addition, 3.2 per cent of participants took an in-service withdrawal, up from 2.7 per cent from a year ago.
The report found 2.3 per cent of workers took hardship withdrawal, up from 1.8 per cent in the second quarter. Employees who took a hardship withdrawal were mostly likely to cite avoiding foreclosure or eviction and medical expenses as their reasons for doing so.
“Americans have become accustomed to riding the economic waves of the past several years and this quarter is no different,” said Kevin Barry, president of workplace investing at Fidelity Investments, in a press release. “They’re learning how to stay afloat in very challenging financial conditions, including having enough money set aside should an emergency arise.
“Through it all, we’re pleased to see retirement savers continue to stay the course with steady savings rates and continued commitment to their futures.”