Fidelity says number of 401(k) millionaires hits record high

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Fidelity Investments said the number of retirement savers with at least $1 million in their account hit a record, as did the employee savings rate, according to data from 401(k) plans that it administers.

The average employee contribution rate reached 8.8% in the second quarter, up a full percentage point from a decade ago, Fidelity said in a press release Wednesday. The analysis is based on the 30 million retirement accounts the Boston-based money manager administers.

Employee contribution rates have been steadily climbing since Congress passed the Pension Protection Act in 2006, Fidelity said. The federal law made it easier for employers to automatically enroll new employees in their 401(k) plans at set contribution rates.

Fidelity found that the number of people with more than $1 million in their 401(k) increased to 196,000. The average balance in an account was $106,000, which was down slightly from a record of $106,500 last year before markets swooned in the fourth quarter, it said.