Defined contribution participants continued to save in 2015 with low withdrawal and loan activity and few participants discontinuing contributions, said the Investment Company Institute in a survey report released Thursday.
In 2015, 3.4% of participants took withdrawals and 1.6% took hardship withdrawals compared to 3.6% and 1.7%, respectively, in 2014, and 3.9% and 1.3% in 2008, the year ICI’s survey began.
Loan activity was also slightly lower in 2015. As of Dec. 31, 17.4% of plan participants had outstanding loans, down from 17.9% in 2014. Loan activity has declined over the past four years, but is still higher than 2008, said Sarah Holden, ICI’s senior director of retirement and investor research, in a telephone interview. In 2008, the year of the financial crisis, 15.3% of participants had outstanding loans at year-end, climbing to 18.5% in 2011.
ICI also said only 2.6% of participants stopped contributing to their workplace plans in 2015, down from 2.8% the previous year. Ms. Holden noted that some participants may have stopped contributing because they reached their annual contribution limits.
Looking at asset allocation, 9.7% of participants actively changed their account balance asset allocations in 2015 vs. 9.8% in 2014; 7.6% of participants changed their contribution asset allocations, up from 6.6% in 2014.
ICI analyzed record-keeper data covering more than 26 million DC plan participant accounts.