IRA holders with multiple accounts have higher balances

A new report by the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that average IRA account balances are one-third higher when all of an individual’s IRA accounts are figured into the equation.

“Individual Retirement Account Balances, Contributions, and Rollovers, 2010” looked at 2010 data for more than 11 million individuals in the EBRI IRA Database, looking at the distribution of IRA owners by IRA types, account balances, rollovers, and contributions to IRAs. What makes the report unique is that EBRI can link different account balances to individuals, providing a more complete retirement picture.

According to the data, the average IRA individual balance in 2010 was $91,864, while the median balance was $25,296. The average and median account balance of all IRAs was $67,438 and $17,863 respectively. Compared to 2008, the average and median individual balnaces are up 32 and 26 percent, respectively, according to the report.

“The results show the importance of being able to look at an aggregation of an individual’s combined account balances to determine the potential total retirement savings he or she has,” said Craig Copeland, EBRI research associate and author of the report.

The report also found that individuals with traditional IRAs originating from rollovers had the highest average and median balance of $123,426 and $38,138, respectively. Roth IRA owners had the lowest average and median balance at $22,437 and $11,471.

The average and median rollover amounts were $69,012 and $17,614, respectively, compared with the average contribution of $3,335.

Of those individuals contributing to an IRA, 43.5 percent contributed the maximum amount.

EBRI is a private, nonprofit research institute based in Washington, D.C., that focuses on health, savings, retirement, and economic security issues.


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