Three mutual fund industry leaders, including Investment Company Institute President Paul Schott Stevens, will release new research showing how 401(k) participants are behaving and faring one year after the market calamity of 2008 and outline ways to improve the nation’s retirement system at the National Press Club in Washington on Friday, Jan. 8 at 10 a.m.

The other two presenters are Vanguard Chairman Jack Brennan and Ariel Investments President Mellody Hobson. They will talk about ways to modify the 401(k) system, including the plusses and minuses of target-date funds, and how investor education and investment opportunities could be better aimed at minorities.

While 401(k) balances fell an average of 27% in 2008, Americans bucked expectations of many market cynics and stayed the course, and as a result, many investors are now being rewarded by the average 24.9% increase in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index this year.

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