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

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.86%3.92%
15 yr fixed3.03%3.05%
5/1 ARM3.40%3.46%
30 yr refi3.94%3.98%
15 yr refi3.12%3.14%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 18,203.37 -85.26 -0.47%
Nasdaq 4,979.90 -28.20 -0.56%
S&P 500 2,107.78 -9.61 -0.45%
Treasuries 2.12 0.04 1.82%
Data as of 10:04pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.04 0.03 0.19%
Apple Inc 129.36 0.27 0.21%
Ford Motor Co 16.17 -0.40 -2.41%
Cisco Systems Inc 29.54 -0.65 -2.15%
Microsoft Corp 43.28 -0.60 -1.37%
Data as of 4:02pm ET
Sponsors

Sections

The historically black school will cover 50% of the cost of a a student's final semester if they graduate early or on time, starting next year. More

If the Supreme Court rules that enrollees on the federal Obamacare exchange can't get subsidies, it could destroy the individual insurance market. The court will hold hearing on King v. Burwell on Wednesday. More

ISIS and jihadi videos on YouTube were running ads for things like Secret, Aveeno and Bud Light. The companies -- and YouTube -- said this was a mistake. More

Find yourself suddenly holding one big lump sum of cash? Here's what you need to know to make sure your money is invested the way it should be. More