Researchers examined the accounts of a subset of the 27.1 million 401(k) plan participants in the EBRI/ICI database. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Consistency may be the hobgoblin of little minds, but it certainly doesn’t hurt 401(k) balances — as long as people keep contributing, that is.

According to the study “What Does Consistent Participation in 401(k) Plans Generate? Changes in 401(k) Account Balances, 2010–2016” from the Employee Benefit Research Institute and the Investment Company Institute, “consistent” 401(k) plan participants—those who kept contributing to their plans from year-end 2010 through year-end 2016—saw their average balance more than double over the period.

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Marlene Satter

Marlene Y. Satter has worked in and written about the financial industry for decades.

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