Last year was one of records and firsts for participants in 401(k) plans administered by T. Rowe Price.

The firm's 10th annual Reference Point benchmarking report looks at the plan design features of 636 large 401(k) and 457 plans and the savings habits of 1.6 million participants. All told, the recordkeeping arm of the Baltimore-based money manager serves 1.9 million participants in more than 3,500 defined contribution plans.

Proponents of the defined contribution model will find plenty of grist in this year's report. Plan design informed by new analytic tools, along with financial wellness programs, are driving impressive results, said Aimee DeCamillo, head of T. Rowe Price Retirement Plan Services, in a statement.

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Nick Thornton

Nick Thornton is a financial writer covering retirement and health care issues for BenefitsPRO and ALM Media. He greatly enjoys learning from the vast minds in the legal, academic, advisory and money management communities when covering the retirement space. He's also written on international marketing trends, financial institution risk management, defense and energy issues, the restaurant industry in New York City, surfing, cigars, rum, travel, and fishing. When not writing, he's pushing into some land or water.