As market volatility disrupted 401(k), 403(b) and IRA growth and balances in the first quarter, investors did not pull back contributions, according to a report by Fidelity Investments.

At the same time, investors opened IRAs at a record level in the first quarter, with new account openings reaching more than 407,000, a 36% increase over new IRAs opened in the same quarter last year, the report said.

Millennials, the report noted, accounted for a majority of the new IRAs, with contributions among that group increasing 41% over last year, while the amount they contributed increased 64%. Among female millennials, the number of IRAs increased 20% from a year earlier.

According to the report, the average 401(k) balance was down 19%, from a record high of $112,300 to $91,400.

The average IRA balance dropped to $98,900, a 14% decrease from last quarter but higher than the Q1 2010 balance of $66,200; and the average 403(b)/tax exempt account balance was $75,700, down 19% from last quarter but still above the average balance of $50,000 in Q1 2010.

Market swings did not hold investors back from moving money into their accounts, the report said. While the average 401(k) contribution rate remained steady at 8.9%, consistent with Q4 2019, 15% of 401(k) savers increased their contribution rate in the quarter. The average employer contribution was also steady at 4.7%, a slight increase from 4.6% in the previous quarter and consistent with 4.7% in Q1 2019, the report said.

The average IRA contributions also grew 10% from Q1 2019 to $3,330 this year, the report said. In addition, 403(b)/tax exempt account contributions increased to 6.9%, up from 5.6% in Q4 and 5.4% a year ago.

Fidelity said that defined contribution plan balances have decreased by 11% from two years ago. And while average balances decreased this quarter, those who have been saving over the long term (15 years) have saved an average of $352,800. Millennials, the report said, have continuously invested in their DC plan for 15 years and have an average balance of $163,200 in Q1 2020.

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