The Retirement Equation

Retirement Savings, Happy Retirement, Saving $1 Million for Retirement, Retirement Preparedness


A 2014 study by MFS surveyed 1,000 defined contribution plan participants in the U.S. between the ages of 20 and 69 who are employed and have at least a $1,000 balance in a plan with their current employer. They asked questions about total contributions, investment gains and withdrawals.

Total Contributions

Participant perspective: Amount needed to save for retirement.

Most participants see $1 million in retirement savings as enough to live comfortably in retirement; 68% believe this amount is enough or more than enough.

Saving $1 million for retirement at age 65, would give you:

Investment Gains

Participant perspective: Importance of returns.

Participants see returns as having a major positive impact on their plan balance but don’t understand the importance of timing returns.


Half of participants who take 401(k) loans use them to pay off debt. Nearly one-quarter of borrowers say they had other options, yet tapped their 401(k) anyway.

Loans were used for:

401(k) Loans, Debt, Retirement Savings

This article is an excerpt from MFS’ white paper, The Retirement Equation. Results of MFS’ 2014 DC Pulse Survey.

ACR#138133 02/15