Having Both a 401(k) Plan & an IRA Changes the Retirement Picture

Robert Powell, CFP®

A new EBRI study finds that individuals maintaining both a 401(k) and an individual retirement account (IRA) have combined assets that are, on average, about 2.5 times larger than the average 401(k) balance and a median combined balance that is approximately 3.5 times the median 401(k) balance.

The Issue Brief, “Having Both a 401(k) Plan and an IRA: How Much Does This Change the Retirement Asset Picture?,” combines two unique datasets: the EBRI/ICI 401(k) Database of 27 million plan participants and the EBRI IRA database of 19 million account holders. This provides a rare perspective on the relative amount of assets held by those having both account types, allowing for a more accurate picture of the total retirement assets of Americans, the interactions between the two account types, and potential leakage within the retirement system.


Planning for & Living in Retirement