Even if WorldCom totally collapsed, it would not have harmed the nation’s 401(k) savings and pension plans, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). Of the $3.7 trillion held in stocks in 401(k)s and pension plans, if these plans had owned all of the outstanding $41.5 billion in WorldCom stock last fall, it would have represented only 1.1% of their assets, according to EBRI.

Likewise, of the $1.5 trillion that 401(k)s and pension plans hold in bonds, if these plans had owned all of the $38 billion in WorldCom bonds, it would have represented 2.5% of their bond holdings.

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