Over 85 percent of all U.S. employees that are eligible for their company's defined contribution plan actually participate, and over 50 percent of all U.S. employees are eligible for such plans, according to a recent study by the Profit Sharing/401(k) Council of America.

The council had estimated 1998 participation by eligible employees at 80 percent. Participation in 1988 was 57 percent, the group had found.

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