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Happy 401(k) Day

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Carriers have started rolling out plans to support 401(k) Day on Sept. 11.

Created in 1995 by the Profit Sharing/401k Council of America, the annual event is designed to promote retirement savings education.

Great-West Retirement Services, Greenwood Village, Colo, says it has developed a communications campaign to support the day. Great-West and its parent, Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company, are units of Power Corp. of Canada, Montreal.

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The Great-West campaign includes a special Web site,, and several related tools, such as presentations, calculators, quizzes and links.

The event always takes place on the first Friday after Labor Day, according to PSCA. This year’s theme is “Make Wise Choices.” The website is

Around 73 million people in the United States have a 401(k) account, according to the SPARK Institute, Simsbury, Conn., a group that represents large retirement services providers. The average account balance at Dec. 31, 2008 was about $32,000, notes Charlie Nelson, president of Great-West Retirement and chairman of SPARK.