About one-third of defined-contribution plan participants in their 50s borrowed from their accounts during the fourth quarter, Wells Fargo said in a report on the plans it administers. Such borrowing by participants in their 40s and 60s also increased to 27.3% and about 29%, respectively, according to Wells Fargo. "The increased loan activity, particularly among older participants, is concerning because those are the years when workers can start to make 'catch-up' contributions and really need to focus on preparing for retirement," said Laurie Nordquist of Wells Fargo Retirement.

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