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Investors Who Stayed the Course Rewarded with Significant Gains

Despite a rocky end to 2018 and predictions of an impending recession, those who stayed the course were rewarded with a generous first quarter rebound on the 10-year anniversary of the stock market low.

Buoyed by positive stock market performance as well as record contribution levels, Fidelity Investments’ first quarter 2019 analysis of retirement savings trends shows that the average 403(b) balance account balance increased to $85,800 — a 9% increase from last quarter and up 2% from the first quarter of 2018.

In addition, Fidelity’s data shows that contributions to 403(b)s increased to record levels, with the average employee contribution reaching $1,700 in the first quarter, while the average employer contribution increased to $1,430.

Similarly, the average IRA balance increased to $107,100, a 9% increase from last quarter and 2% higher than the $105,100 balance one year ago. And the number of IRA millionaires increased to 168,100, up from 138,800 last quarter.

The combined average balances for savers with both a workplace retirement plan, such as a 401(k) or 403(b), and an IRA reached $307,600, a record high and an increase of 9% from the combined average balance of $281,000 at the end of 2018.