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DC participants hold steady on contributions, low withdrawal rate — ICI report

Defined contribution plan participants continued saving, with withdrawal activity remaining extremely low and participants continuing to contribute to the plans, according to a report released Tuesday by the Investment Company Institute.

In 2016, only 3.3% of DC plan participants took withdrawals, compared to 3.4% the previous year and 3.6% in 2014. Only 1.5% of participants took hardship withdrawals in 2016, compared to 1.6% in 2015 and 1.7% in 2014.

Only 2.7% of participants stopped contributing, compared to 2.6% in 2015 and 2.8% in 2014.

Loan activity was also lower in 2016, with 17% of participants having loans outstanding as of Dec. 31, compared with 17.4% a year earlier and 17.9% at the end of 2014. Despite the continuing drop, loan activity does remain higher than year-end 2008 as the financial crisis took hold, when only 15.3% had loans outstanding.

Reallocation activity, meanwhile, dropped slightly, with 9.4% of plan participants changing the asset allocation of their account balances in 2016, compared to 9.7% in 2015 and 9.8% in 2014. In 2016, 5.6% of participants changed the asset allocation of their contributions, down from 7.6% in 2015 and 6.6% in 2014.

ICI analyzed record-keeper data covering more than 29 million DC plan participant accounts.