Does Autoenrollment Affect Employer Contributions?
Low participation rates limit the effectiveness of 401(k) plans as a reliable source of retirement income. About one in five workers eligible to participate in their employer’s 401(k) plans do not enroll (Munnell, Golub-Sass, and Muldoon 2009). Firms can raise participation rates by automatically enrolling employees as soon as they become eligible. However, higher participation rates increase costs for employers that match employee contributions, and firms appear to reduce the rate at which they contribute to 401(k) plans when they adopt autoenrollment.
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Did You Know?
A 401(k) plan is a retirement savings plan in which the benefit is based on contributions to an individual account and the investment return on those contributions. Typically, employees make contributions to the plan and, in many cases, employers match the employees' contributions. These plans are called defined contribution plans. In most 401(k) and other retirement savings plans, the employee is responsible for choosing among the investments offered by the plan. Other types of retirement savings plans are 403(b) and 457 plans.