According to a news release from Fidelity Investments, 401(k) account balances have reached their highest levels since the Boston firm started tracking the data over 12 years ago. Through the end of the third quarter of 2012, the average account balance of plans serviced by Fidelity was $75,900, representing a 4.2% increase from the second quarter and an 18.0% increase from the third quarter of 2011. Fidelity also notes a positive trend of substantial increases in both employee and employer contributions over the last five years. Fidelity reports that for each of the last 14 quarters, more participants have been increasing deferrals rather than decreasing them. Participants also are investing increasingly in balanced investment options, while the portion going to equities has been declining. The news release is posted on Fidelity's website.
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