Fidelity: Average 401(k) Participant Has Saved $1,700 Since January

About 69 percent of new contributions are invested in equities

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Most workers with 401(k)s are still managing to save a little something for retirement. The average worker tucked away $1,700 in the first quarter of 2009, according to a new analysis of Fidelity’s 11.3 million 401(k) participants. That’s down slightly from $1,860 in 2008. The majority of employers also kicked in a 401(k) match averaging another $1,080 this year between January 1 and March 31, down from $1,220 last year.

Approximately half of the new contributions to Fidelity 401(k)s were invested in equities such as domestic, international, or company stock. Another 25 percent of the new funds were invested in blended options such as lifecycle and target date funds, which typically have an equity component. The remaining quarter of funds were invested in conservative stable value or fixed income investments. Overall, 69 percent of newly invested dollars in Fidelity accounts were allocated to equities.

Nearly half of all plan participants contacted Fidelity with questions about their workplace savings plan during the first three months of 2009 and about 208,000 attended Fidelity financial seminars. Half of the seminar participants later took action by changing their asset allocation, rebalancing, or bumping up their contribution amounts.