US - American workers are continuing to contribute to their workplace savings plans despite current market volatility, a study by Fidelity Investments has shown.
"There is no doubt that American workers are feeling the pressure from escalating energy and food prices, as well as a slumping real estate market, but the majority are making retirement a priority and staying the course," said Scott David, president of retirement services, Fidelity Investments.
"What we're seeing in the first half of this year is similar to what we saw during the last period of market volatility that began in 2001.
"During that turbulent market period, workers also continued to fund their workplace accounts, recognising the importance of saving for retirement even during a down market."
While workers continued to fund their workplace savings accounts, the average account balance was down 7.5% year on year at the end of June 2008.
Fidelity also said loans outstanding had been slowly trending down and currently remained historically low.
It added the percentage of workers taking a hardship withdrawal remained quite low on an annualised basis, representing just 1.6% of all employees with a balance in their workplace savings account, as of the end of June 2008.
Fidelity concluded most employees participating in a workplace savings plan were not contributing to the annual limit. As of the end of 2007, only 9% of all workers contributing to their workplace savings plan reached the annual maximum of $15,500.
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