Even the grumpiest bear market since the Great Depression didn't detract from the benefits consistent participation in 401(k) plans offer, according to a joint study by the Employee Benefits Research Institute and the Investment Company Institute released Thursday.

In fact, those who have stayed with their 401(k)s since 1999 have 50% more savings to show for it through both contributions and market appreciation, according to Jack VanDerhei, an EBRI fellow and a professor at Temple University.

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