Fidelity Investments says average retirement account balance at record high

Kristin Schwab Feb 17, 2020
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Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Fidelity Investments says average retirement account balance at record high

Kristin Schwab Feb 17, 2020
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Fidelity Investments says it has a record number of retirement accounts containing $1 million or more, and that the average amount of money in all the accounts it manages has reached record highs. Fidelity manages about 25% of the country’s retirement accounts, like IRAs and 401ks.

The biggest reason savings are up? Because the stock market is up, according to Meghan Murphy, vice president at Fidelity Investments.

“Just in the past year, so in all of 2019, the growth that we saw in balances, 81% of it was due to market activity,” Murphy said.

But what about the rest? More employers are automatically enrolling their employees into a basic retirement fund. They’re also automatically increasing their employees contribution each year. 

Ben Carlson, director of institutional asset management at Ritholtz Wealth Management, said that’s a good way to get people to save.

“For most people, they just set this thing one time and they forget about it,” Carlson said.

But that’s where the buck stops with the employee, because the rate of employers offering to match contributions has remained flat. And Carlson said just half of U.S. businesses offer retirement plans at all.

“It is increasingly expensive to run one of these plans,” he said, adding that people should aim to save a total of between 15 and 25 times their annual spending, which is getting harder to do before age 65.

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