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401(k) Plans and Race


  • Alicia H. Munnell
  • Christopher Sullivan


Many data sources show a disparity among racial and ethnic groups regarding participation in and contributions to 401(k) plans. White workers participate at a higher rate and contribute a higher percentage than African American and Hispanic workers. However, few studies have explored whether these differences persist once other factors expected to impact these decisions are taken into consideration. One recent study by Ariel/ Hewitt using client data found lower participation and contributions rates in 401(k) plans for African Americans and Hispanics than for Whites, even after controlling for age, tenure, and earnings.

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  • Alicia H. Munnell & Christopher Sullivan, 2009. "401(k) Plans and Race," Issues in Brief ib2009-9-24, Center for Retirement Research, revised Nov 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:crr:issbrf:ib2009-9-24

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