Shocking 401(k) Statistics That Will Blow Your Mind!

April 26, 2023

In this highlight, we discuss some shocking 401(k) statistics that you may not know about!

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Okay, so let’s start with some crazy 401K stats. Some really interesting things that you may not know. Some of this might be surprising to you, some of them might not. Here’s the first one: I thought that was really interesting. For those of you that don’t know, 401ks often allow loans, certainly more in recent times. That’s been something that people have had to utilize. Surprisingly, 17 percent of individuals right now have an outstanding 401k loan. 17 percent of folks have said, “I’m going to tap into my retirement savings to subsidize or somehow use those dollars today.” That’s a good thing, bad thing. Definitely, we’re going to go into the details of why that’s a horrible thing, and I’m just sad that it’s getting close to one in five are taking these loans. This is not a good use of your resources.

How about this next stat? Brian, 34% of 401k participants do not get their full employer match. So you might participate in a 401k plan where your employer says, “Hey, I’ll put some money in there for you if you do xyz,” and 34% of people are not doing all of xyz. How do you miss number two of the financial order of operations? Get that free money. I mean, that one breaks my heart a little bit. That means we’re getting to one in three are blowing it with that set.

How about this one? Now this one is a positive one, those two are sort of negative. Eighty percent of 401K plans now in this country offer a Roth option. This has not always been the case. Roth 401ks have not always been a thing, so a number of plans are now offering that. However, less than 20% are actually taking advantage of it. So I’m curious, is that because for 20% of folks, or for 80% of folks, it doesn’t make sense? Or do people not know about it? They not know why it’s exciting? They not know why it could be a valuable tool to use in their tool belt? It’s because I haven’t watched this show. Yeah, so the Money Guy Show is going to load them up. But first, let’s go ahead and just talk about the basics. Let’s go ahead and jump right in, go ahead and talk to them about funding limits and some of these other provisions.

The one thing that’s really interesting, this changed in 2023. There is now a new salary deferral limit. So if you’re someone who’s putting money into a 401k and you’re electing to defer some of your salary into it, you can actually do up to $22,500. That can be across the pre-tax or the Roth side. We’ll talk about those in a moment. And if you’re someone who, I don’t know, just happens to maybe be turning 50 this year, maybe you were born in the year 1973, someone like that, you can actually defer up to $30,000 into your 401k out of your salary into 2023. What I think is interesting because look, they inflation these things, they adjust them over time. Last year it was $20,500, gone to $22,500. That’s a pretty big jump, that $2,000. This is a year that you fell asleep that you haven’t been updating in the past. This is definitely a year you need to be paying attention to because that is quite a big step up from what it was in previous years.

Another thing that’s happened is the section and 415 limits have increased. Now, the total annual edition limit between what you put in and what your employer puts in is $66,000. I know a lot of folks are thinking, “Oh man, what? I can only do $22.5?” There are a number of employers out there now. We have a lot of clients who work with their 401K contributions for their employees and are so generous that they actually do run into these numbers. I want to say last year the number was $61,000. It has now increased to $66,000. If you’re someone who’s over 50, your total annual edition limit is all the way up to $73,500. So, this is a great place and a big opportunity for folks to sock away dollars for a time. And don’t forget, even if your employer and the normal contributions don’t load it all the way up, if you are fortunate enough that you have enough money coming in, there is an apex predator moment where you potentially could do the mega backdoor Roth contribution.

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