Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

401(k) savings hit record high

By Jessica Dickler, staff writer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The average 401(k) balance hit a 10-year high at the end of last year as the recession waned and more Americans bulked up their retirement savings.

At the end of 2010, the average 401(k) balance had risen to $71,500 -- up 11.5% from $64,200 a year earlier, according to a report released Wednesday by Fidelity Investments.

These 401(k) plans give workers tax-deferred savings and often include a matching contribution from employers. As a result, they have become a primary vehicle for retirement savings as the pension has disappeared.

More than 51 million American workers contribute to these plans, putting aside an average of 8.2% of their salaries, the company said.

For a seventh straight quarter, more participants upped their contributions than decreased them. According to the report, 6.1% of workers increased their contributions from the previous quarter, while only 3% lowered their contribution amount.

Of the employers who use Fidelity to offer 401(k) plans to employees, only 8% reduced or eliminated matching contributions during the height of recession, the financial services provider said.

More than half of those firms have said that they have already -- or plan to -- reinstate those contributions. To top of page

Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.92%3.92%
15 yr fixed2.99%2.98%
5/1 ARM3.26%3.12%
30 yr refi4.01%3.98%
15 yr refi3.08%3.04%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,798.49 -14.90 -0.08%
Nasdaq 5,127.53 11.38 0.22%
S&P 500 2,090.11 1.24 0.06%
Treasuries 2.22 -0.01 -0.31%
Data as of 12:42pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
General Electric Co 30.36 0.00 0.00%
Bank of America Corp... 17.48 0.04 0.23%
HP Inc 12.61 -0.03 -0.24%
Pfizer Inc 32.79 -0.08 -0.24%
Walt Disney Co 115.13 -3.54 -2.98%
Data as of Nov 27


Nearly six in ten black Americans surveyed by CNN/Kaiser Family Foundation say that they or a close friend or family member have been incarcerated -- and a majority of them come from low-income households. That leaves the many families of inmates in a precarious financial situation. More

Watsi crowdfunds donations to cover healthcare costs of those in need. And it's seeing a surprising trend: micro-donations via the popular Chinese social networking app, WeChat. More

Hive, a startup funded by the UN, is tasked with getting more Americans engaged with the refugee crisis. More

Shoppers around the country braved the crowds to get their hands on the best Black Friday deals. More