The average defined contribution account balances of plan participants soared 18 percent last year to a record average of $101,650, Vanguard reported.

With last year's rising stock prices and higher interest rates, Vanguard's numbers may well be a harbinger of how other 401(k) account fared.

"Vanguard's numbers are a good proxy," said Rick Meigs, president of 401(k), a Portland, Ore.-based website that provides information to retirement professionals. "They have a huge number of platforms and participants. These are good numbers for 2013. We'll see what this year brings."

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