As the 77 million Baby Boomers begin to retire and cash out of their stock and mutual fund holdings, the market will not spiral into a bear market, according to a new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research called “New Estimates of the Future Path of 401(k) Assets,” The New York Times reports.

Although 401(k) assets currently represent only a small fraction of people’s retirement portfolios, they will grow markedly in the coming years, the authors of the study maintain. That’s because 401(k)s have only existed since the early 1980s, and younger investors have many more years to contribute to their 401(k)s than current retirees had.

The percentage of eligible workers investing in 401(k)s has also increased, from 56% in 1984 to 81% in 2003.

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