Ownership of 401(k)-type plans among families participating in an employer's retirement plan more than doubled, from 31.6% in 1992 to 79.5% in 2007. Three years later, during the financial crisis, 401(k) ownership continued to increase, to 82.1%.

According to a report by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, based on the most recent data from the Federal Reserve Board's Survey of Consumer Finances, defined contribution plan balances-including money in 401(k)s, accounted for 61.4% of families' total financial assets in 2010, up from 58.1% in 2007. Moreover, the percentage of family heads who were eligible to participate in a defined contribution plan and actually did so remained virtually unchanged during this time.

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