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 fixed3.50%3.49%
15 yr fixed2.65%2.67%
5/1 ARM2.93%2.94%
30 yr refi3.39%3.46%
15 yr refi2.67%2.70%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 18,111.64 -149.81 -0.82%
Nasdaq 5,261.31 -44.44 -0.84%
S&P 500 2,148.27 -16.42 -0.76%
Treasuries 1.58 -0.04 -2.23%
Data as of 2:11pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 15.08 -0.43 -2.80%
Procter & Gamble Co 88.00 0.24 0.28%
Apple Inc 112.98 0.27 0.24%
Wells Fargo & Co 44.80 -0.94 -2.04%
Chesapeake Energy Co... 6.69 0.06 0.90%
Data as of 1:56pm ET
Sponsors

Sections

The death of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte has some wondering if all police officers should wear body cameras in order to provide more video evidence about disputed shootings. Taser is one of the top makers of such cameras. More

Donald Trump's campaign team is firing back at critics who say he will run up America's debt. His economic advisers are out with a new report claiming Trump can balance the budget. More

Trump wants to gain support from younger voters by launching a new national Snapchat filter for the debate. More

Two years before the government pulled the plug on its funding, the for-profit school faced lawsuits over how it misled students about the quality of its programs and job placement rates. More