401(k) balances grew across the board in past two yearsNews added by Benefits Pro on January 3, 2014

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By Dan Berman

The account balances of 401(k) participants grew markedly over the last two years across all age groups no matter their length of time with an employer, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

EBRI, which tracks 23.4 million participants in more than 64,000 employer sponsored plans, reported that those closest to retirement with more than 20 years of tenure saw their accounts grow by 37.4 percent from the start of 2012 to Jan. 1. Those whose tenure was between 10 and 19 years saw growth of 45 percent.

For workers in the 45 to 54 age group, those with the longest tenure saw gains of 44 percent, while those with 10 to 19 years of service, saw growth of 51.5 percent.

Workers with shortest amount of time with an employer saw the greatest percentage growth, most likely because their accounts started out with fewer assets. For instance, those 25 to 34 with four years or less of tenure, saw their accounts grow by an average of 126.1 percent. For workers closer to retirement in the same service category, the rise was 82.3 percent.

In October, EBRI reported that the median 401(k) balance rose 11.5 percent from 2008 to 2011 to $42,082. In November, the institute reported that in 2012 participation in workplace retirement plans fell to 39.4 percent. EBRI said it expected participation rates to be similar in 2013.

Originally published on BenefitsPro.com
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