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Published: Friday, 2/10/2012

401(k) growth in 2011 unchanged from 2010

BLADE STAFF AND NEWS SERVICES

BOSTON — Workers stashed money away in their 401(k) retirement plans at a faster clip last year but didn’t get an immediate reward for their savings strategy. Fidelity Investments, the nation’s biggest 401(k) administrator, says the average account balance was essentially unchanged in 2011, compared with 2010.

The year-end average for participants in Fidelity Investments plans was $69,100, down $300 from 2010, the company said Thursday. The average slipped despite a slight increase in employee contributions. The 11.6 million participants in Fidelity’s plans set aside an average $5,750 through paycheck deductions, up from $5,680 a year earlier. That’s more than 8 percent of their annual pay, on average.

The amount that employers paid in matching contributions also rose, averaging $3,270 last year. The increase came as more companies restored matches that had been reduced or suspended during the recession.



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