Evidently, even tax-deferred savings plans have been affected by Americans' tendency to squirrel away less of their income. A survey of 1,518 U. S. companies by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. reveals that so-called 401(k) plans, which allow employees to save part of their pay on a tax-deferred basis, are growing in popularity. But the percent of pay that workers are contributing to such plans has been falling. From 1988 to 1990, the average amount contributed by highly compensated employees fell by 6.8%, while the average contributions by workers at the lower end of the pay scale declined 6.1%.
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