The Persistence of Employee 401(k) Contributions

Publication Date


Grant Type

Policy research grant


This study examines whether workers who initially contribute to their company’s 401(k) plan consistently make contributions over their careers. Using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), this study documents and describes the persistency in which workers contribute to their 401(k) plans using four data points from 1999, 2001, 2003, and 2005. It examines how persistency varies across demographic and economic groups. It also investigates the correlation between changes in the stock market and persistency, as the rise and fall of the stock market from 1990-2004 provides a particularly volatile period for 401(k) contributions.