Press Releases

Employees in San Francisco Bay Area Contributed Greatest Amount to Their 401(k) Plans in the US

  • TriNet’s May SMBeat looked at 401(k) contributions from SMBs in top metro areas
  • Employees in the highest paying vertical, financial services, contributed the most to retirement plans, totaling almost $3,700 per year

SAN LEANDRO, Calif. – June 10, 2014 –


(NYSE: TNET), a leading provider of comprehensive human resources solutions for small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) today announced the findings of the May 2014 issue of its TriNet SMBeat, a monthly analysis of small to medium-sized business (SMB) employment and human capital economic indicators. May’s report features an in-depth look at 401(k) plan benefits and saving habits across various industries. According to the report, employees in the San Francisco Bay Area contributed the highest amount to their 401(k) plans in the country at a rate of $4,700 per year on average.

Across the TriNet population, the average employee contributes approximately 4% of their base salary to 401(k) plans. Though, the data in this month’s SMBeat showed that the majority of people are not saving as much as they could be saving. About 51% of employees contribute nothing at all to employer sponsored retirement savings plans.

Below are the key findings of the May 2014 TriNet SMBeat Report. The data is sourced from TriNet’s more than 9,000 clients and approximately 240,000 worksite employees in the U.S[1]:

  • Across the TriNet population, the average employee contributed approximately 4% of their salary to 401(k) plans, amounting to about $3,200 per year.
  • In the New York metro, Los Angeles metro and San Francisco Bay Area, employees contributed a similar percentage to retirement savings, averaging deferral rates between 3.31% and 4.4% for a total of approximately $2,800 to $4,700 per year.
  • By industry, jobs that are high-paying, and that also have generous employer matching contributions, like financial services, tend to have employees that save a higher percentage of their income. For example, employees in financial services contributed the most to retirement plans, totaling almost $3,700 per year.
  • Though also high paying, employees in the tech sector contributed slightly less at approximately $3,600 annually. This may be due to the fact that tech employees, especially in startups, are often offered the choice of stock options rather than a 401(k) plan.
  • The lowest annual contributions came from the retail/wholesale industry. Employees in this sector save an average of $2,300 per year.

In addition to the findings on 401(k) plan enrollment, below are key findings on economic employment indicators across TriNet’s clients in May:

  • Net job growth moved to 1.71%, increasing from April’s growth of 1.01%.
  • The technology sector continues its strong employment growth trend surging to 2.98% net job growth, well in excess of April’s 1.58% growth. Atlanta led the tech sector for the second consecutive month with 3.87% net job growth.
  • In the construction industry, net job growth jumped to 3.34%, up from 2.04% in April. Florida and California are leading this sector with 3.72% and 3.07% net job growth, respectively. Florida’s recent boom in tourism and growing housing markets may be partly responsible for the uptick in this area.

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About TriNet

TriNet is a leading provider of a comprehensive human resources solution for small to medium-sized businesses, or SMBs. We enhance business productivity by enabling our clients to outsource their human resources, or HR, function to one strategic partner and allowing them to focus on operating and growing their core businesses. Our HR solution includes services such as payroll processing, human capital consulting, employment law compliance and employee benefits, including health insurance, retirement plans and workers compensation insurance. Our services are delivered by our expert team of HR professionals and enabled by our proprietary, cloud-based technology platform, which allows our clients and their employees to efficiently conduct their HR transactions anytime and anywhere. For more information, please visit

About SMBeat

SMBeat provides a detailed analysis for trends in key human capital economic indicators for small and medium-sized businesses. All reported statistics are seasonally adjusted unless otherwise indicated. All reported months run from the 13th of the previous month to the 12th of the current month. TriNet generates payroll information by tracking real-time movements within its base of approximately 9,000 (as of 03/31/14) business clients’ full-time salaried employees (the TriNet population). These companies represent the following industry verticals: construction, manufacturing, retail/wholesale, professional services, personal services, technology, financial services, and life sciences. SMBeat aggregates and reports data reflecting compensation, hiring and retention (both involuntary terminations and voluntary resignations), and also provides ongoing analysis of contributing factors to these trends, including regional, industry, and seasonal variables. Slight adjustments will be made to historical figures in time series charts if and when updated employment information about actual prior periods is obtained.  Any significant changes will be called out in this section or in footnotes.

Media Contacts:

Jock Breitwieser                                Michelle Sieling

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[1] As of April 30, 2014

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