Participants in 401(k) plans and health savings accounts (HSAs)had higher 401(k) account balances than those who saved only in a401(k), according to a new report by Fidelity Investments. Thecompany’s research also found that those who continuouslycontributed to their HSA saved most of their contributions, whichwill help them pay for escalating health care costs inretirement.

On average, 401(k) participants who also contributed to an HSAin 2011 deferred 8.5 percent of their annual salary into theirretirement plan, while participants who only saved in their 401(k)contributed an average of 8.1 percent.

“During benefit enrollment season, it’s encouraging to see thaton average, saving in an HSA is not done at the expense of anemployee’s crucial 401(k) retirement savings,” said WilliamApplegate, vice president, Fidelity Investments. “Employersand employees alike are increasingly recognizing the importance ofplanning for current and future health care costs and many arebeginning to integrate this tax-advantaged product into theiroverall retirement strategy.”

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