Near Retirees' Defined Contribution Retirement Account Balances
Authors: Joelle Saad-Lessler and Teresa Ghilarducci
Date: July, 2012

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau's Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), this fact sheet is the first to provide a breakdown of defined contribution (DC) retirement account balances by income. Americans nearing retirement, or the 58 million people ages 50 to 64 in 2010 - will likely not have enough retirement assets to maintain their standard of living when they reach their mid-sixties. Three quarters of near retirees have annual incomes below $52,201, with an average total retirement account balance of $26,395. The median value of retirement account balances for half of near retirees is zero, meaning that over half of this group has no retirement savings. Individuals with high incomes - or those in the highest quartile earning over $52,201 per year - have average balances of $105,012. The median balance is much lower; 50 percent of people  in the top 25 percent of the income distribution have retirement account balances of only $52,000.