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Check Out Average 401(k) Balances by Age, Income Level, and Industry

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May. 11 2021, Published 3:07 p.m. ET

So, you know you should be saving for retirement, but how much do people in your age group have in their 401(k)? And for that matter, how much do people of your income level have tucked away for their retirement? What about people in your industry—what have they saved up for their golden years?

The investment management company Vanguard has offered data on average 401(k) balances by age, by income level, and by industry.

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Of course, these are just averages, everyone’s financial position is different, and everyone has different retirement goals. As Atlanta-based certified financial planner Patrick King told U.S. News & World Report, some people dream of a lavish retirement, and some people are aiming for a more modest existence. “The amounts they will need to save will vary greatly … If you’re having a hard time deciding what retirement [savings rate] is realistic for you, start by saving 10% of your income,” King added.

Here’s the average 401(k) balance by age, according to Vanguard.

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That same November 2020 U.S. News & World Report article listed average 401(k) balances by age group, citing data from Vanguard.

Under age 25

Average account balance: $5,419

Average contribution rate: 4.7 percent

Age 25 to 34

Average account balance: $26,839

Average contribution rate: 6.1 percent

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Age 35 to 44

Average account balance: $72,578

Average contribution rate: 6.6 percent

Age 45 to 54

Average account balance: $135,777

Average contribution rate: 7.3 percent

Age 55 to 64

Average account balance: $197,322

Average contribution rate: 8.5 percent

Age 65 and over

Average account balance: $216,720

Average contribution rate: 9 percent

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Here’s the average 401(k) balance by income level.

Business Insider listed 401(k) averages by income level in March 2021, also citing Vanguard data. 

Less than $15,000

Average 401(k) balance: $8,260

Median 401(k) balance: $1,356

$15,000 to $29,999

Average 401(k) balance: $13,069

Median 401(k) balance: $4,020

$30,000 to $49,999

Average 401(k) balance: $29,740

Median 401(k) balance: $10,439

$50,000 to $74,999

Average 401(k) balance: $66,033

Median 401(k) balance: $27,630

$75,000 to $99,999

Average 401(k) balance: $113,143

Median 401(k) balance: $54,020

$100,000 to $149,999

Average 401(k) balance: $177,597

Median 401(k) balance: $91,470

$150,000 and above

Average 401(k) balance: $298,851

Median 401(k) balance: $154,989

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Here’s the average 401(k) balance by industry.

Business Insider also used Vanguard data to list 401(k) averages by industry, with agriculture, mining, and construction at the top of the list. The site noted that employers in certain industries might be likelier to offer retirement-savings matches.

Agriculture, mining, construction

Average 401(k) balance: $161,065

Median 401(k) balance: $39,869

Finance, insurance, real estate

Average 401(k) balance: $128,864

Median 401(k) balance: $33,390

Business, professional, nonprofit

Average 401(k) balance: $127,647

Median 401(k) balance: $28,830

Manufacturing

Average 401(k) balance: $123,843

Median 401(k) balance: $36,639

Transportation, utilities, communications

Average 401(k) balance: $95,476

Median 401(k) balance: $23,518

Media, entertainment, leisure

Average 401(k) balance: $88,636

Median 401(k) balance: $23,924

Education and health

Average 401(k) balance: $81,374

Median 401(k) balance: $19,589

Wholesale, retail

Average 401(k) balance: $71,795

Median 401(k) balance: $13,089

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