Nearly 70% of defined contribution balances have returned to levels prior to the stock market slump of 2008 and 2009, according to a survey by Mercer, a provider of benefits administration outsourcing.

However, the survey of the 1.2 million participants’ balances as of Dec. 31, 2009 found discrepancies between younger and older participants. Comparing year-end 2007 with year-end 2009, participants under age 30 have seen an average account balance increase of 81%, compared to a 2% average drop for participants 55 years and older.

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