7. What percent of 401k plan sponsors say most of their employees are/will be financially prepared for retirement?

19% – according to a 2017 Deloitte survey.

If 401ks were helping most employees achieve a successful retirement, shouldn’t the response be around 69% or 79% – not 19%?

Why are plan sponsors so pessimistic? Perhaps it’s because they know employees 60s have an average account balance of around $200,000. (Vanguard 2016).

But that’s not good. In 401ks, averages are misleading. A few employees have very large accounts and many employees have small balances. The median 401k balance (the midpoint – 50% over, 50% under) is often less than half of the average 401k balance. So, employees around the midpoint should expect around $333 a month assured for a lifetime with an account balance of $100,000 (see question 3).