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Workplace Savings Accounts: Open in Case of Emergency

October 6, 2021


While employees who were able to work from home full time during the COVID-19 pandemic often saw their savings increase due to lowered expenses, those who were laid off or temporarily furloughed, or who had their hours reduced, weren’t so fortunate. Those workers often drew down their savings and may have taken hardship distributions from their 401(k) accounts.

Often, however, workers found they had little savings to raid. New research from the nonprofit Employee Benefit Research Institute in Washington, D.C., shows that a typical family with a head of household who is working had less than one month’s income worth of savings outside of a retirement account, and even the highest-income families only had 1-3/4 months of income available in liquid savings.

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