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Average 401(k) account balance dips in 2011


Employees' 401(k) plan account balances dipped slightly last year, Fidelity Investments said in an analysis released Thursday.

The average 401(k) account balance was $69,100 at year-end 2011, down from $69,400 a year earlier, according to the Boston-based mutual fund provider and 401(k) plan administrator.

While the average account balance dipped in 2011, balances are much higher compared with several years ago. As recently as year-end 2008, when balances were battered by the plunge in the equities market, the average 401(k) account balance was $48,900.

The analysis also found that 82% of active plan participants received employer contributions, typically a company match or profit-sharing contribution, in 2011. The average employer contribution was $3,270, up from $3,170 in 2010.

The study analyzed the account balances of 11.6 million participants in 401(k) plans serviced by Fidelity.

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