Some 53% of respondents to the survey by Strong Retirement Plan Services contribute up to the match or more – meaning they get the full benefit over the long term, while a further 23% either max out by contributing as much as plan rules and discrimination testing allow.
Only 5% contributed less than the plan match amount, while 19% contributed only what they could afford.
The survey also found that while a majority of the 401(k) investors say they make financial decisions based on their goals, a significant number struggle with basic financial planning which can hobble their retirement savings program.
- some 56% of respondents prioritized their savings based on their goals,
- just over a quarter saved for their most pressing need first,
- fewer than one in ten did not know how to prioritize their savings,
- while 10% didn’t think about savings goals at all
When it comes to pinpointing goals, all participants mentioned retirement, but many also brought up:
- a home,
- a car,
- an emergency fund,
- a second home, or
- home remodeling
More than 10% said they were saving for more than one goal.
The survey was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2001 and encompassed approximately 2,500 participants in 401(k) plans administered by Strong.