Fidelity: 401(k) average balance grows 4 pct in 3Q

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Associated Press

Posted on November 8, 2012 at 3:00 AM

Updated Thursday, Nov 8 at 3:02 AM

BOSTON (AP) — The nation's largest administrator of 401(k) plans says account balances grew an average 4 percent in the last quarter. That's due to a rising stock market, as well as increased contributions from workers and their employers.

Fidelity Investments said on Thursday that the average balance among the 12 million accounts it administers was $75,900 as of the end of September. That's up from $72,800 at the end of June.

The latest quarter's figure is the largest since Fidelity began tracking account averages 12 years ago.

Stocks rose nearly 6 percent in the latest quarter, boosting investment returns in 401(k)s. The accounts typically hold a mix of stocks and bonds.

Account contributions from employees' paycheck deductions also rose in the latest quarter, as did matching contributions from their employers.

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