Posts Tagged "automatic escalation"
September 9, 2021
401k Plans Evolve to Boost Workers’ Savings
Many employees in the private sector, when left to their own devices, either save very little in the company retirement savings plan or don’t even sign up for it.
But a growing number of companies have revamped their 401(k)-style plans over the past two decades to strengthen the incentives for employees to save. While progress has been gradual and uneven, the companies are moving in the right direction.
In a new study, researchers have compiled a unique nationally representative data set that tracks the changes employers have made to their 401(k)s and 403(b)s. The findings describe three important areas in which they are making progress:
- About 41 percent of the largest 4,200 U.S. employers in this study automatically enrolled workers in a savings plan in 2017 – up sharply from 2 percent in 2003. Workers can still opt out but the vast majority remain in the plans.
- Similar improvements were also evident in the study’s broader sample of employers of all sizes. In 2017, about a third of all companies had auto-enrollment, compared to virtually none in 2003.
- Among companies with auto-enrollment, about 44 percent of the large employers and half of the overall sample are automatically increasing their workers’ contributions.
- Contributions to the plans are generally rising too.
The researchers credited some of the improvements to the Pension Protection Act. The 2006 law explicitly allowed companies to automatically enroll employees in savings plans and also established a minimum standard for the level of employer contributions made by companies that adopt auto-enrollment. …Learn More