Retirement plan withdrawals increased in the second quarter, according to Fidelity Investments.

Fidelity, Boston, has published data supporting that conclusion in an analysis of data from the 17,000 defined contribution plans it serves. The plans have a total of about 11 million participants.

The percentage of active Fidelity 401(k) plan participants who had initiated plan loans within the previous 12 months increased to 11% June 30, up from 9% a year earlier.

The percentage of plan participants with any plan loan outstanding increased to 22%, from 20%.

About 62,000 participants initiated a hardship withdrawal during the quarter, and the percentage of participants who initiated hardship withdrawals increased to 2.2% in the second quarter, up from 2% in the comparable quarter in 2009.

The average 401(k) account balance increased 15% between June 30, 2009, and June 30, to $61,800.

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