Compare the distribution of savings in DB and DC plans

The following two charts (from the Economic Policy Institute's Retirement Inequality Chart book) compare median to mean savings for workers with a DC plan and for workers with a DB plan. Note the bigger the gap between the mean and median the more savings are clustered among the highest income workers. The first chart below is for savings in DC plans. The second chart is for DB plans.

Disparities in retirement savings in part reflect differences between workers at different life stages and between those with and without accounts, some of whom may be covered by defined-benefit pensions. However, focusing only on workers in their early to mid-50s with retirement account savings, the mean ($103,309) is still 2.5 times larger than the median ($41,554).

 

In stark contrast to savings in retirement accounts, defined-benefit pension benefits appear fairly equally distributed among 51- to 56-year-old workers who are participating in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, with the mean benefit only slightly larger than the median benefit (figure below).