New research from T. Rowe Price on defined contribution plans finds that after significant gains in participant deferrals and participation rates in 2016, plan and participant outcomes improved again in 2017. Plan design continued to be one of the strongest drivers of outcomes, led by features such as auto-enrollment and auto-increases (with opt-out), as well as adoption of higher default rates. Highlights include the 6 percent default deferral rate reaching an all-time high, reaching 32.4 percent of plans, the average employee pre-tax deferral rate reaching 8.3 percent (the highest in 10 years), and 94 percent of plans offering target date products.

T. Rowe Price: Reference Point