Bank of America Merrill Lynch said that it saw increased 401(k) participation through its plan sponsors both in the fourth quarter and 2011 year, signaling a positive outlook for the tweaks it has made to its offerings and confidence in the overall economy.

Plan participants took the most positive action when it came to their 401(k) contributions—starting or increasing their savings—in the fourth quarter compared to the rest of the year, with 81%, or 442,470 participants, versus 19%, or 107,170, who decreased or stopped their savings.

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