This study examines the relationship of contributing to a Health Savings Account while also participating in a 401(k) retirement saving plan. With the tax-incentive nature of both HSA and 401(k), it is of interest to assess if limited income forces less long-term saving for retirement with the 401(k) in order to contribute to the HSA which can have both long-term retirement saving and short-term precautionary saving for financial hardships of medical expenses. Although the study was significantly limited by privacy concerns surrounding employee data related to contribution rates and demographics for both HSA and 401(k) saving plans, aggregate state level data was used for regression analysis of our model. This study’s hypothesis explored if HSA contributions would lower 401(k) account balances. Our results indicate that HSA contributions and high-income levels are not statistically significant to 401(k) account balances. With our empirical results reflecting that 401(k) saving does not have to be lowered to be able to contribute to HSA, it may indicate that the two methods of retirement saving can be complementary.


Burnell, Barbara




Business | Social and Behavioral Sciences


401(k), HSAs, Retirement Saving, Precautionary Saving

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2018 Ryan E. Wobbe