Participation in 401(k)s has dropped to 73%, its lowest number since 1991.

That's the alarming word from a new Buck Consultants survey. The number may signify some tough times for investors and 401(k) plans, but things may be even worse today, according to Rich Koski, a principal with Buck Consultants, who said that the survey's findings are based on 2001 company data. The New York consulting firm plans to release an updated version in the summer to determine what type of employees are opting out of their 401(k) plans.

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