Study Reveals Average 401(k) Participant Can't Afford to Retire Until Age of 73

Dec 01, 2010, 10:48 ET from Nyhart

INDIANAPOLIS, Dec. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Nyhart (, one of the nation's largest independent actuarial and employee benefits consulting firms, released their "Fall 2010 401(k) Retirement Readiness Study" today as part of the firm's ongoing look at the effectiveness of the traditional 401(k) retirement benefit.

The 6-month study reviewed nearly 10,000 retirement accounts from employees at 110 public and private companies.  The study evaluated how contributions to their 401(k), the primary retirement tool for most of these employees, would affect the age at which they could retire.

Key results in Fall 2010 401(k) Retirement Readiness Study include:

  • 81% of employees 18 or older will not be able to afford to retire by the age of 65
  • Employees above the age of 55 will need to contribute more than 45% of pay through the remainder of their career to retire by age 65.
  • The average participant, relying on their 401(k) as a primary retirement vehicle, will not be able to retire until the age of 73.
  • Most employees age 60-64 will likely need to work until the age of 75 to be able to afford to retire at their current levels of contribution to their 401(k).
  • 7 in 10 employees age 24-and-under are not expected to retire by age 65.

"Across all age groups and income levels, the employees who contribute the greatest percentage of income have the best opportunity for retirement," said Thomas Totten, senior actuary and lead researcher for the study. "The decision of how much an employee contributes to their 401(k) far exceeds the importance of which investment funds they choose. By increasing your contribution by just 2-4% of total income, you can shave years off the age you retire."

The Fall 2010 401(k) Retirement Readiness Study with additional research, graphs and insights is available for download at

About Nyhart

Nyhart is one of the nation's largest actuarial and employee benefits consulting firm, operating since 1943. Nyhart is composed of actuaries, consultants, attorneys, accountants, and administrators focusing in pension and retirement fund analysis, retirement benefits consulting and administration of employee benefits for private and public companies around the United States.   Nyhart is a member of Alliance Benefit Group.

For more information contact: James Burnes, media relations, (317) 512-3612 or or Tom Totten, CEO, at  317-845-3500 or