Delaware Residents Take Advantage of 401(k) Plan Offerings More Often than Residents of Other States

Washington, D.C., November 4, 2014 – Judy Diamond Associates, the 401(k) plan intelligence provider of leading financial advisors, brokers and fund companies, today released an analysis of 401(k) participation rates by states, revealing wide disparities in states’ performance on this crucial measure of retirement preparedness.

“The single biggest way an employer can help workers save for retirement is to ensure that they are actually participating in their plans,” said Eric Ryles, managing director of Judy Diamond Associates. “The best plan in the world is useless until a participant actually begins to contribute and build an account balance. Our research shows that employers in some states seem to be encouraging participation more effectively than others.”

For this research, Judy Diamond Associates looked at the percentage of all eligible plan participants who had balances in their 401(k) accounts at the end of the 2012 or 2013 plan years in each state. For each plan, the most recent data available was used.

Some interesting highlights from the research include:

  • Delaware had the highest participation rate, 85.8%.
  • Nevada had the lowest participation rate, 53.0%.
  • Nationwide, 71.5% of eligible participants had balances in their 401(k) plans at the end of the most recently available plan year.
  • If the District of Columbia had been included, it would have ranked #5 with 78.6% of participants actually participating in their plans.

States with the Highest 401(K) Participation Rates

Rank State Statewide Participation Rate
1 Delaware 85.8%
2 Connecticut 83.1%
3 Iowa 80.5%
4 New York 80.0%
5 Arkansas 77.5%


Judy Diamond Associates based this research on the most recently available 401(k) plan disclosure documents released by the Department of Labor, which are available in its Retirement Plan Prospector database. Retirement Plan Prospector is an intuitive and comprehensive online sales prospecting and plan analysis tool, providing insights to the defined contribution and defined benefits markets.

For more information about this research, please contact us at or follow us on Twitter @401kFacts.


Media Contact
Regina Marie Glick
[email protected]

Sales Contact
Eric Ryles
[email protected]

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