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Diversity and Retirement Savings

Saturday, June 2, 2012
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A new report from Vanguard shows that blacks and Hispanics are more likely to take loans and hardship withdrawals from their 401(k)s than whites and Asians -- but all of those groups borrow roughly the same amount.

The report -- Diversity and Defined Contribution Plans: Loans and Hardship Withdrawals -- states "there was no meaningful difference in 12-month loan default rates among groups. This higher incidence of loans among blacks and Hispanics occurs after controlling for income, account balance, and other demographic differences."

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The findings may reflect "differences in financial literacy, trust in financial institutions, or constrained access to credit outside the plan," according to Vanguard, which notes that sponsors may want to "consider limiting participants to one loan outstanding and/or other modest borrowing restrictions.

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