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Employee 401(k) balances dip in quarter, but up 9% over 2013: Fidelity


Employees' 401(k) plan account balances dipped during the first quarter of 2014 but still are substantially higher than a year ago.

The average account balance was $88,600 as of March 31, down slightly compared with the average balance of $89,300 at year-end 2013, Fidelity Investments, the Boston-based mutual fund and 401(k) plan administrator, said in an analysis released Tuesday.

Still at $88,600, the average account balance is up by more than 9% compared with $80,900 at the first quarter of 2013.

Even with the slight decline during the first quarter — due to a dip in the equities markets — account balances are dramatically higher than several years ago when participants' equity investments were battered during the Great Recession. For example, in March 2009, participants' account balances averaged just $46,200, according to Fidelity.

The analysis is based on 21,000 plans with 13 million participants.