Skip to Content

Who Contributes to Individual Retirement Accounts- CRR Brief

Last Updated April 29, 2017

The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College has released a new Issue in Brief:


by Anqi Chen and Alicia H. Munnell

The brief’s key findings are:
  • IRAs were intended to give those without an employer plan access to a tax-deferred savings vehicle.

  • Today, IRAs hold nearly half of all private retirement assets, but most of these funds are rollovers from 401(k)s, rather than contributions.

  • The 14 percent of households who do contribute to IRAs include:

    • higher-income dual-earners who also save in a 401(k);

    • moderate-income singles or one-earner couples, often with a 401(k); and

    • higher-income entrepreneurs with no current 401(k).
  • One way to turn IRAs back into an active savings vehicle – one used more for contributions – is to auto-enroll all workers without an employer plan in an IRA.

This brief
 is available here." Source