Average Deferral Rates at a Ten-Year High


T. Rowe Price has released its annual participant data benchmarking report, which shows mixed results for participants in 2018.


The average deferral rates reached a 10-year high of 8.6%, outstanding 401(k) loans fell to a nine-year low of 22.5% and hardship distributions fell for the ninth year in a row, from 1.9% in 2010 to 1.3% in 2018.


On the flip side, the participation rate dropped by nearly two percentage points from the year prior, and plans without automatic enrollment saw participation drop at more than twice the rate than those with auto-enrollment.


What does it all mean? It means the hard work in getting plan participants being an active p[art of their 40(k) plans is a continuing battle that must be met with a continued focus on engaging participants.

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