Employee participation in defined contribution (DC) plans is at the highest levels ever seen, according to a new report. Aon Hewitt says not only is participation high but balances are at pre-recession levels. The flipside is that employee savings rates remain stagnant.

The report, which looked at more than 140 DC plans representing 3.5 million eligible employees found that on average, 78 percent of employees participated in a DC plan in 2012, up from 75 percent in 2011, and 68 percent in 2002. Also average DC plan balances have reached their highest levels since 2006. The average total plan balance in 2012 was $81,240, up significantly from $57,150 in 2008.

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