Half of all families with 401(k)-type retirement plans and IRAs have less than $45,000.

Only half (52.6 percent) of families had 401(k)-type retirement plans or IRAs in 2007, and those who did had median savings of just $45,000 in those accounts, according to the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances. Though more recent survey data is not available, the total amount in these accounts was down 12 percent in 2009 relative to 2007, according to aggregate Federal Reserve figures.


Bucks, Brian K.; Kennickell, Arthur B.; Mack, Traci L. and Moore, Kevin B. “Changes in U.S. Family Finances from 2004 to 2007: Evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances.”  Federal Reserve Board, February 2009, pp. A18-A19.

“Federal Reserve Statistical Release: Flow of Funds Accounts of the United States”, First Quarter 2010, Federal Reserve Board, June 10, 2010, Tables L.118.b and L.118.c.