PSCA Releases Results of Annual Survey of 401k Plans


The Profit Sharing/401k Council of America has released its 54th Annual Survey of Profit Sharing and 401k Plans. This survey provides up-to-date information available on current practices and trends in profit sharing and 401k plans. It reports on the 2010 plan-year experience of 820 companies with 10.5 million participants and $691 billion in plan assets. The survey contains 149 tables of data.

Highlights of Survey Results

Asset Allocation
The average plan has approximately 63 percent of assets invested in equities. Assets are most frequently invested in actively managed domestic equity funds (25.1 percent of assets), target-date funds (13.0 percent), stable value funds (9.9 percent), indexed domestic equity funds (8.8 percent) and actively managed international equity funds (8.4 percent)

Automatic Enrollment
41.8 percent of plans have an automatic enrollment feature. Of those plans that have an automatic enrollment feature, 82.3 percent use this feature with new hires only and 17.7 percent use it for all non-participants. The most common default deferral is 3 percent of pay, and the most common default investment option is a target-date fund.

Company Contributions
Profit sharing plans tend to offer the most generous contributions, averaging 6.8 percent of pay. The average company contribution in 401k plans is 2.3 percent of pay and in combination plans it is 4.6 percent of pay.

Company Stock
14.7 percent of plans allow company stock as an investment option for both participant and company contributions and 3.2 percent of plans allow company stock as an investment option for company contributions only.

Employee Eligibility
89.0 percent of U.S. employees at respondent companies are eligible to participate in their employer’s DC plan. Most companies allow employees to begin contributing to the plan immediately upon hire (59.2 percent of companies). Companies are more likely to have a one-year service requirement for non-matching contributions than for matching company contributions.

Hardship Distributions
Hardship withdrawals are permitted in 89.0 percent of 401k, 85.8 percent of combination, and 4.5 percent of profit sharing plans. 1.9 percent of participants took a hardship withdrawal in 2010, when permitted.

Investment Options
Plans offer an average of 18 funds for both participant and company contributions. The funds most commonly offered to participants are actively managed domestic equity funds, actively managed international equity funds, indexed domestic equity funds, and actively managed domestic bond funds.

Investment Advisors
67.9 percent of companies retain an independent investment advisor to assist with fiduciary responsibility.

Investment Advice
Investment advice is offered by 57.6 percent of respondent companies. 22.3 percent of participants used advice when it was offered.

Loan Availability
Loans are permitted in 88.8 percent of 401k, 89.4 percent of combination, and 23.8 percent of profit sharing plans. 52.8 percent of plans with loans permit only one loan at a time.

The average percentage of eligible employees who have a balance in the plan is 86.3 percent. An average of 76.9 percent of eligible employees made contributions to the plan in 2010, when permitted.

Roth 401k
45.5 percent allow participants to make Roth after-tax contributions. 16.1 percent of participants made Roth contributions when offered the opportunity.

Target-Date Funds
63.6 percent of plans now offer a target-date fund as an investment option. The average allocation of plan assets increased thirty percent from 2009 to 13.0 percent.

Vesting Schedules
37.3 percent of plans provide immediate vesting for matching contributions, while 23.3 percent provide immediate vesting for profit sharing contributions.

PSCA’s Annual Survey of Profit Sharing and 401k Plans is available for purchase. Order online at

Rick Meigs, President,


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