401(k) Usage Hits 9 Year Low, Study Finds

The use of 401(k) loans hit a nine-year low in 2018, finds a T. Rowe Price report.

According to their findings, 401(k) usage was at 22.5 percent in 2018, continuing a steady six-year decline of nearly 10 percent. Meanwhile, both loan balances and the average amount of hardship withdrawals increased.

The participation rate dropped nearly two percent from 2017 to 2018. Participation in auto-enrollment plans was over 40 percentage points higher than those without the option.

On the other hand, 401(k) Roth contributions increased by nearly 10 percent compared with 2017, but usage remained low at 7.6 percent.