EBRI Issue Brief

Individual Retirement Account Balances, Contributions, and Rollovers, 2010: The EBRI IRA Databaseā„¢

May 30, 2012 20  pages


  • In 2010, IRA owners were more likely to be male, especially those whose accounts originated from a rollover or were a SEP/SIMPLE. Among all IRA owners in the database, nearly one-half (45.8 percent) were ages 45–64.
  • The average and median IRA account balance in 2010 was $67,438 and $17,863, respectively, while the average and median IRA individual balance (all accounts from the same person combined) was $91,864 and $25,296.
  • Individuals with a traditional IRA originating from rollovers had the highest average and median balance of $123,426 and $38,138, respectively. Roth owners had the lowest average and median balance at $22,437 and $11,471. The average and median individual IRA balance increased with age through age 70.
  • The average amount contributed to an IRA in the database was $3,335 in 2010. The average contribution was highest for accounts owned by those ages 65–69, and more contributions were made to Roth accounts than to traditional accounts (both those originating from contributions and rollovers). However, the average contribution to a traditional account was higher, at $3,517, compared with $3,240 to a Roth account. Yet, a higher overall amount was contributed to Roths ($2.3 billion for Roths compared with $1.3 billion for traditional accounts).
  • Focusing on those owning traditional or Roth IRAs, 9.3 percent of the accounts received contributions, and 12.1 percent of the individuals owning these IRA types contributed to them in 2010. Among traditional IRA owners, 5.2 percent contributed, while 24.0 percent of those owning a Roth contributed to it during 2010.
  • Of those individuals contributing to an IRA, 43.5 percent contributed the maximum amount. Of those contributing to a traditional IRA, 48.7 percent maxed out their contribution, while 39.3 percent did so with a Roth.
  • The average and median account balances increased from $54,863 and $15,756 respectively in 2008 to $67,438 and $17,863 in 2010. This represents an increase of 22.9 percent in the average account balance and 13.4 percent in the median balance. The total individual balances also increased for both the average (32.2 percent) and the median (26.2 percent).
  • The average and median rollover amounts were $69,012 and $17,614 respectively, compared with the average contribution of $3,335.