Temperatures – and 401(k) Balances – Heated Up in July

Things continued to heat up in July for those average 401(k) balances.

According to estimates from the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) based on the actual contribution records and investment choices of several million consistent participants in the EBRI/ICI database, the average 401(k) account balance for younger (25-34), less tenured (1-4 years) workers surged 4.3% in July, adding to the 10.2% gain through June 30.

The average 401(k) balance of older (age 55-64) workers with more than 20 years of tenure – which was just 1.9% through June 30 – gained 2.5% in July alone. Of course, this group’s average balance is generally more influenced by market moves than contributions, as is the case with the younger, less-tenured cohort.

The EBRI/ICI database includes demographic, contribution, asset allocation and loan and withdrawal activity information for millions of participants. EBRI has produced estimates of the cumulative changes in average account balances – both as a result of contributions and investment returns – for several combinations of participant age and tenure. You can find those results here.

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