April 11, 2014

For additional information:
Jason Hammersla
office 202-289-6700
cell 202-422-4652

Statistics show: 401(k) plans a powerful resource for retirement savers

Council observes National Retirement Planning Week

WASHINGTON, DC — "For tens of millions of American workers, planning for retirement begins with participation in an employer-sponsored defined contribution arrangement like a 401(k) plan," said Lynn Dudley, American Benefits Council senior vice president, global retirement and compensation policy. "These plans have proven to be durable, reliable and wildly successful sources of financial security in retirement."

The Council is a proud member of the National Retirement Planning Coalition (NRPC) and a strong supporter of National Retirement Planning Week (April 8-12), the nation-wide campaign to increase awareness of the need for comprehensive retirement planning. Additional resources and information are available on the NRPC website at

The Council recently updated its Fast Facts on 401(k) Plans, with extensive data illustrating the strengths and successes of the voluntary, employer-sponsored defined contribution plan system. Based on the most recent available data, defined contribution plans currently cover more than 88 million total participants in nearly 640,000 plans, comprising almost $5 trillion (not including the addition $6 trillion in Individual Retirement Account savings, much of which was rolled over from employer plans).

In December 2013, the Council (in partnership with the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) and Investment Company Institute (ICI)) developed the research paper, Our Strong Retirement System: An American Success Story. "The preponderance of evidence shows that voluntary, employer-sponsored retirement plans provide a critical source of savings for millions of American workers at all ages and income levels," Dudley said.

"These are challenging times, both for America and for working Americans," Dudley said. "As individuals nationwide consider planning for their own retirement, we urge policymakers to consider two things: First, efforts to improve financial security should build on the established foundation of employer-sponsored plans, which have proven enormously successful and popular over the long term. And second, measures to address our nation's economic challenges must not undermine the employer-sponsored retirement system, which has the potential to benefit the federal government, the global economy, employers and employees well into the future."

For more information on National Retirement Planning Week or the Council's support of the employer-sponsored retirement plan system, please contact Jason Hammersla, Council director of communications, at or by phone at 202-289-6700 (office) or (202) 253-5458 (cell).

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The American Benefits Council is the national trade association for companies concerned about federal legislation and regulations affecting all aspects of the employee benefits system. The Council's members represent the entire spectrum of the private employee benefits community and either sponsor directly or administer retirement and health plans covering more than 100 million Americans.