Average 401(k) 62% Above Low

Fidelity says average account balance has risen to $74,600, from $46,200 in Q1 2009.

Average balances of 401(k) retirement plans were about 62 percent higher as of March 31 than the first quarter of 2009, when the stock market reached a 12-year low, according to Fidelity Investments.

The average account balance in the U.S. was $74,600 compared with $46,200 at the end of the first quarter of 2009, according to a report released today by the Boston-based mutual-fund manager. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell about 40 percent in the 12 months ended March 31, 2009.

Capping Contributions

The U.S. House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing in April on retirement savings as Congress seeks to overhaul the nation’s tax code and reduce the deficit. Proposals to alter the benefits have included reducing the amount that can be contributed or replacing deductions for savings with credits. Tax incentives for retirement accounts cost the government more than $130 billion in revenue this year, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.

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