Most older households have little or nothing saved in retirement accounts: Median and mean retirement account savings, by age, 2019

Median Mean
Ages 25–54 $3,000 $81,000
Ages 55–64 $10,000 $222,000
Age 65+ $0 $176,000

Notes: Retirement account savings include funds in 401(k)-style defined contribution plans and in IRAs but not in defined benefit pension plans. 

A household’s age is based on the age of the reference person, who, in households of more than one person, is defined by the Survey of Consumer Finances as the male in a mixed-sex couple or the older person in a same-sex couple. The median household retirement account savings includes reported savings in accounts held by both spouses or partners, in the case of married or partnered couples, and—less commonly—the retirement account savings of other people who are financially interdependent with the “economically dominant” individual or couple in the household (Bhutta et al. 2020).

Source: Economic Policy Institute (EPI) and Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA) analysis of Survey of Consumer Finances 2019 microdata (Federal Reserve 2022a).

View the underlying data on