How America Saves 2018: Telling the retirement story with data

June 5, 2018

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How America Saves 2018

The data are in, and they tell a powerful story about the state of retirement in America. The 17th edition of How America Saves delves into the retirement savings behavior of 4.6 million participants in defined contribution (DC) retirement plans for which Vanguard provides recordkeeping services. Our data-rich report examines trends in how participants accumulate, manage, and access retirement savings.

New this year in the Executive Summary is a 15-year look back at several key measures that highlight the rising prominence of professionally managed allocations, the growing use of target-date options, the growth of automatic savings features, and more.


Professionally managed allocations

Professionally managed allocations

Underlying the improvements in portfolio construction is the rising prominence of professionally managed allocations. At year-end 2017, nearly 6 in 10 of all Vanguard participants were solely invested in an automatic investment program, compared with just 1 in 10 at the end of 2003.

Growth in use of  target-date funds

Growth in use of target-date funds

Use of target-date strategies in DC plans continues to grow. Nine in 10 plan sponsors offered target-date funds at year-end 2016.

Increased use of auto savings features

Increased use of auto savings features

The adoption of automatic enrollment has tripled since year-end 2007. At year-end 2017, 46% of Vanguard plans had adopted automatic enrollment.

Mixed results in high-level participant savings metrics

Mixed results in high-level participant savings metrics

High-level metrics of participant savings behavior were mixed in 2017. Plans with automatic enrollment have a 92% participation rate.

 




Benchmarking by industry

Benchmarking by industry

To help DC plan sponsors understand how their industry's plans compare with similar DC plans recordkept by Vanguard, we present eight industry benchmark reports.

Select and download an industry report, or use our Retirement Plan Comparison Tool to compare your plan with other plans and industries recordkept by Vanguard.

 

Ambulatory health care services
Architecture and engineering
Finance and insurance
Information
Legal services
Manufacturing
Mining, oil, and gas
Technology



Notes:

  • All investments are subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest.
  • Investments in target-date funds are subject to the risks of their underlying funds. The year in the fund name refers to the approximate year (the target date) when an investor in the fund would retire and leave the workforce. The fund will gradually shift its emphasis from more aggressive investments to more conservative ones based on its target date. An investment in target-date funds is not guaranteed at any time, including on or after the target date.