Those who doggedly contributed on a consistent basis to their 401(k) plans found their diligence over the past year rewarded with higher balances. 

That's the word from the Employee Benefit Research Institute, which said that participants aged 55-65 who had been with their current employer for more than 20 years saw an increase in plan balances of more than 14 percent from year-end 2013. 

Older workers weren't the only ones to see the benefit of regular contributions. Among younger workers aged 25-34 who had been with their current employers just one to four years, balances jumped by 47.9 percent. 

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