The average 401(k) account at Fidelity Investments lost about a fifth of its value in 2022, tumbling to $103,900 from $130,700, according to a report Thursday from the asset manager.
After a year when the S&P 500 plunged 19% and bonds provided little refuge, double-digit drops are about what you’d expect for investors who didn’t retreat into money market funds. Average account balances at Vanguard were down 20%, and losses on some of the largest actively managed equity funds in 401(k) plans were far greater.
The losses in 2022, stemming in large part from the plummeting stock prices of leading technology companies, come at a time when Americans are struggling to save amid high inflation. While the average retirement balance across many millions of accounts at Fidelity and Vanguard is in the six figures, the 553 investors in the latest MLIV Pulse survey said the amount they’d need to retire comfortably was far higher — between $3 million and $5 million. Roughly a third of investors said $3 million, and a similar amount chose $5 million.
Fidelity’s 2022 results found the total 401(k) savings rate, which combines employee contributions and any employer match, at 13.7%, down slightly from the previous quarter. The total savings rate for Boomers was the highest of the generations, at 16.5%.