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Reliance on 401(k) accounts drops, poll shows

By Walter Hamilton

Los Angeles Times

First Published May 13 2014 12:20 pm • Last Updated May 14 2014 10:07 am

Fewer Americans are counting on 401(k) accounts to fund their retirement years, apparently because of disappointment with the stock market after painful losses in the Great Recession, according to a recent study.

Only 48 percent of nonretirees expect a 401(k), individual retirement account or similar savings vehicle to be a major source of retirement income, according to a Gallup poll. That’s up from 46 percent last year but down from 54 percent in early 2008, just before the worst of the global financial crisis struck.

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Even though the stock market has recouped its crisis-era losses and gone on to a series of new highs, many small investors missed the gains because they bailed out before that.

Confidence in 401(k)s has improved in recent years from a low of 42 percent in 2009, according to the poll. But that’s fairly unimpressive, given the resurgence in stock prices.




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