Reliance on 401(k) accounts drops, poll shows

By Walter Hamilton

Los Angeles Times

Published: May 13, 2014 12:20PM
Updated: May 14, 2014 10:07AM

Fewer Americans are counting on 401(k) accounts to fund their retirement years, apparently because of disappointment with the stock market after painful losses in the Great Recession, according to a recent study.

Only 48 percent of nonretirees expect a 401(k), individual retirement account or similar savings vehicle to be a major source of retirement income, according to a Gallup poll. That’s up from 46 percent last year but down from 54 percent in early 2008, just before the worst of the global financial crisis struck.

Even though the stock market has recouped its crisis-era losses and gone on to a series of new highs, many small investors missed the gains because they bailed out before that.

Confidence in 401(k)s has improved in recent years from a low of 42 percent in 2009, according to the poll. But that’s fairly unimpressive, given the resurgence in stock prices.

Los Angeles Times