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Even Doing Nothing Paid Off for Retirement Savers in 2020

401(k) account balances rose, while 10% of people made active portfolio adjustments. But not everyone could take advantage of the savings plans.

RF Piggy bank savings

Photographer: Alessandro De Carli/EyeEm/Getty Images

By one measure, at least, there was a bright spot in 2020 for people able to save in workplace retirement plans like 401(k)s.

They watched their account balances rise, on average, 21% during the year, thanks in large part to stock-market gains, according to Vanguard’s annual How America Saves report released Thursday.