A surging stock market has accelerated the recovery of many workers' retirement plans over the past few years. New data from Fidelity Investments—the nation's leading 401(k) provider—show an impressive 92 percent gain in the average 401(k) account balance since the market low of the economic downturn in 2009.
By the end of the first quarter of this year, the average 401(k) was worth $88,600, up from $46,200 on average five years ago, according a the report released Tuesday.
"About three-quarters of the account balance growth has been due to the market and about 25 percent or a quarter has been due to employees putting more money into their 401(k) plans," said Jeanne Thompson, a vice president at Fidelity.
"When we look over a 10-year period, what we find is that 50 percent is due to the account balance growth, to the market growth, and 50 percent is due to employee and employer contributions. What that really drives home is that it's really important over the long term not only to put money into your 401(k) but also to make sure you're invested appropriately for your age."