Saving over a long period, we're always told, pays off, even if things may not look so good for the short term. And new data from Fidelity is backing that up.

In its quarterly analysis of its 401(k) and IRA accounts, along with its annual analysis of small business retirement plans, Fidelity found that the average 401(k) balance dipped slightly at the end of the first quarter and is down roughly 5 percent from the record high balance at the end of Q1 2015.

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