President Trump took a break from his normally dignified Twitter protocol to boast of high 401k balances, driven mainly by correspondingly high stock market values.
“Look at your 401-k’s since Election. Highest Stock Market EVER! Jobs are roaring back!” the president tweeted Monday morning in a message prefaced by a pitch for Roy Moore’s controversial Alabama senate candidacy.
“Putting Pelosi/Schumer Liberal Puppet Jones into office in Alabama would hurt our great Republican Agenda of low on taxes, tough on crime, strong on military and borders…& so much more,” he messaged by way of introduction to his 401k plan praise.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 24,290.05 on Monday, largely due to the tax cut deal passed in the Senate over the weekend.
On account balances, the president is not wrong.
The average balance rose to $99,900, while the average IRA balance climbed to $103,500.
While they rose for every generation (Boomers, Gen X and Millennials), significant growth was seen among Gen X investors, with an average 401k balance increase of 18 percent to $98,800.
Among the specific findings:
- Individuals are contributing more to their retirement accounts. While part of the increase in retirement account balances can be attributed to stock market activity, the increase is also due to people putting more money aside for retirement.
The average 401k contribution rate reached 8.5 percent in the third quarter, the highest percentage in almost 10 years, and more than one-in-four savers (29 percent) increased their contribution rate over the last year.
The amount contributed to IRAs year-to-date increased 12 percent; Roth IRA contributions alone increased by 13 percent.
- More individuals using target-date funds to help keep 401k asset allocation on track. An increasing percentage of workers are using target-date funds for 401k savings, which can help individuals maintain an age-appropriate allocation of stocks, bonds and cash within their retirement savings account.
As of the end of the third quarter, 29 percent of all Fidelity 401k assets were held in target date funds, up from 18 percent at the end of the third quarter of 2012. Almost half of all workers (48 percent) hold all of their 401k savings in a target date fund, up from 30 percent in 2012.