The Plan Sponsor Council of America (PSCA) released its 60th Annual Survey of Profit Sharing and 401(k) Plans this week. The good news is that participation rates in retirement plans, including defined contribution profit sharing and 401(k) plans, rose steadily. This means that more employees are taking advantage of their employer sponsored retirement benefits. Plan sponsors also continue to employ plan features like automatic enrollment, auto-escalation, and Roth 401(k)s to assist employees to grow their retirement savings.

Here's a direct quote from the PSCA press release:


  • More participants made contributions in 2016 – 84.9 percent.
  • Roth availability increased again – now offered at 63.1 percent of companies.
  • Company contributions increased to an average of 4.8 percent of participants’ pay.
  • Target-date funds are now offered in nearly three-fourths of plans.
  • An average of 22.2 percent of assets are allocated to target-date funds, up from 19.8 percent in 2015.
  • Seventy percent of plans retain an independent investment advisor to assist with fiduciary responsibility.
  • Sixty percent of plans use automatic enrollment. Three-fourths of those plans automatically increase default deferral rates over time.

Have you ever wondered, “What's the average salary deferral?” or “How much does the average participant contribute?” The PSCA survey answers many of these common questions. To summarize major trends, we created this infographic.

401(k) Trends

We hope you find this informative, helpful for seeing current retirement plan trends, and useful as a benchmark for comparing against your company 401(k) plan.

401k webinar

When was the last time you reviewed your 401(k) plan? And how does your plan stack up?

“401k written on a paper” by wuestenigel is licensed under CC BY 2.0