Public-sector defined contribution plan participants in their 60s have an average account balance of about $32,000 with the cohort's mean account balance totaling more than $96,000, according to data published Thursday from the Public Retirement Research Lab, or PRRL.
Unsurprisingly, cohorts of older participants had larger average account balances and contribution totals than their younger public-sector peers, according to the report, "The State of Public Sector DC Plans: A First Look at the PRRL Database." The report, which marks the opening of the PRRL Database, used 2019 year-end data for more than 200 457(b), 401(a), 403(b), 401(k) and other defined contribution plans; nearly 2.3 million state, county, city, and subdivision employees; and $113 billion in assets.
The average account balance for public-sector DC plan participants in their 20s was just shy of $4,000, behind participants in their 30s ($4,877), 40s ($11,254), and 50s ($21,459). The mean balances for each cohort were significantly higher, including a mean balance of $69,810 for participants in their 50s.
The average contribution for participants in their 60s was $1,313 (or 3.7%), in their 50s it was $1,220 (or 3.4%), 40s it was $1,012 (or 3.2%) 30s it was $874 (or 3.2%) and 20s it was $481 (or 3.9%).
Participants in their 40s had the highest share of loans outstanding (7.3%), but while only 3% of participants in their 60s had a loan, the average loan amount was more than $8,400.
The Employee Benefit Research Institute and the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators teamed up to launch the PRRL in late 2019.
"The PRRL was created specifically to address the significant lack of attention to and understanding about the role of public sector DC plans in helping public sector employees adequately prepare for a secure retirement," said Matt Petersen, NAGDCA's executive director, in a news release. "As defined benefit pension reform continues, the importance of public sector DC plans will only increase."
Lori Lucas, EBRI president and CEO, said in the same news release that in the future, the PRRL "will leverage the PRRL Database to identify trends in plan design and utilization, and analyze the retirement income adequacy gaps faced by public plan participants, including the potential impact of potential policy, plan design, and product initiatives on these gaps."