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Top 15 States With Best 401(k) Participation Rates

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Judy Diamond Associates released on Wednesday an analysis of 401(k) participation rates by state and found that nationwide, 71.6% of participants have contributed to their workplace plan in the most recent plan year.

The firm studied the percentage of eligible plan participants with a balance in their 401(k) for the 2012 or 2013 plan year. The data is from plan disclosure documents released by the Department of Labor.

“The single biggest way an employer can help workers save for retirement is to ensure that they are actually participating in their plans,” Eric Ryles, managing director of Judy Diamond Associates, said in a statement. “The best plan in the world is useless until a participant actually begins to contribute and build an account balance. Our research shows that employers in some states seem to be encouraging participation more effectively than others.”

Washington, D.C., had a participation rate of 78.6%, one of the highest on the list. The state with the lowest rate was Nevada, with just 53% of eligible participants contributing to their plan.

Just two-thirds of eligible participants in California, the most populous state, are contributing to their plan. Just over 70% of Texans are contributing.

The IRS announced in October that it was increasing the catch-up contribution limit for workers 50 and older on workplace plans to $6,000. Workers of all ages can now contribute a maximum of $18,000 for the 2015 tax year, up from $17,500.

Church of San Felipe in Albuquerque.

15. New Mexico: 75.2%

Mount Rushmore in Keystone.

(tie) 14. South Dakota and Maine: 75.4%

Mississippi flags at state capitol in Jackson. (Photo: AP)

12. Mississippi: 75.5%

Norris Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park. (Photo: AP)

11. Wyoming: 76%

Battlefield Park and Richmond Skyline. (Photo: AP)

10. Virginia: 76.5%

Skier on the slopes at a Killington Resort. (Photo: AP)