News: Despite weak economy, more money flowing into retirement plans

September 19, 2008

Despite a sagging economy and a weak stock market during the first half of 2008, retirement plan participants increased the amounts they contributed compared to the same period in 2007, according to results of an analysis from Boston-based Fidelity Investments.

Save more when the stock market's sluggish? That's what a good financial planner would advise, to take advantage of lower prices for equities. Apparently, the message is getting out: Despite a sagging economy and a weak stock market during the first half of 2008, retirement plan participants increased the amounts they contributed compared to the same period in 2007, according to results of an analysis from Boston-based Fidelity Investments. While the average pre-tax increase was slight, from $3,142 to $3,187, it shows that people recognize the importance of continuing to save for retirement even when struggling with higher costs for food, fuel, and other living expenses. The analysis was based on information from Fidelity's 16,723 corporate-defined contribution retirement plans, representing about 11.5 million participants.