A study by Fidelity Investments found that despite economic pressures, Americans are saving more for retirement in 2008. The average pre-tax contribution to 401(k) accounts grew by 7 percent in the first half of the year, and investors who continued to make contributions through the year only had their accounts reduced by 1 percent, compared with the average 7.5 percent decline.

Hardship withdrawals increased slightly from 0.56 percent to 0.6 percent.