22 February 2020

Cash Balance Plan Growth Outpacing Other Plan Designs

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Cash balance plans continue to outpace all other sectors of the retirement plan market, including 401(k) plans, which showed a 1% decline in the same period.

There were 7,064 cash balance plans active in 2010 (the most recent year for which IRS reporting data is available), up from 1,337 in 2001, representing 810% growth in under a decade. There are now 11.1 million participants in cash balance plans nationally, with $713 billion in total plan assets.

The stalled economy was no deterrent to adoption of new plans. Between 2008 and 2010, there was a 38% increase in new cash balance plans, despite the lingering recession and stalled recovery.

Small businesses are driving cash balance growth: 84% of cash balance plans are in place at firms with fewer than 100 employees.

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