Retirement Made Simpler: Helping you automate your 401(k) step-by-step
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Automatic 401(k) Basics Image
Learn the language of automatic 401(k)s. Understand how and why they work.
  • Auto 401(k) Plans Continue to Evolve—Addressing Small Account Concerns
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  • Department of Labor and IRS publication: Automatic Enrollment 401(k) Plans for Small Businesses
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  • 401(k)s Basics: What You Need to Know
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  • The Business Case for 401(k) Automatic Enrollment
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  • The Next Generation of Automatic 401(k) Plans
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  • How to Implement an Automatic 401(k) Plan and Increase Employee Contributions
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  • 401(k)s Made Easy: Automatic Retirement Savings
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  • The Automatic 401(k): A Simple Way to Strengthen Retirement Savings
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  • Automatic Savings Vehicles: Putting Workers and the Economy in a Pro-Saving Direction
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Auto 401(k) Toolit Image
An automoatic 401(k) toolkit made specifically for you.

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  • Retirement Made Simpler 401(k) Toolkit – Full Version
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Auto 403(b) Toolit Image
An Automatic 403(b) toolkit made specifically for you.

Full Toolkit
  • Retirement Made Simpler 403(b) Toolkit – Full Version
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Toolkit Pieces
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Investment Behavior Image
There is a wealth of research that explains how and why people invest—even why they don’t. Learn more about investor behavior—straight from the experts.

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Saving for the Future Image
Research shows that among adult households aged 55 and older, most have less than $10,000 saved for retirement. Find out more about the importance of saving and how it affects your employees’ future.
  • 2013 Universe Benchmarks - Measuring Employee Savings and Investing Behavior in Defined Contribution Plans
    The Aon Hewitt 2013 Universe Benchmarks research report analyzes participant behavior across the participation rates, savings levels, plan balances, investments, account activity and demographics of more than 3.5 million employees eligible for defined contribution plans. Participant behavior is separated into demographic groups that include age, salary, tenure, balance and gender.
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  • Rethinking Retirement: Moving Ahead Without Leaving Anyone Behind
    The AARP Public Policy Institute and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce convened experts to discuss improving retirement security. The event brought together key stakeholders, policy makers, advocacy groups, employers (large and small) and the financial service industry in a critical discussion about how to increase retirement savings.
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  • Automatic Features Contribute to 401(k) "Wellness"
    The latest Bank of America Merrill Lynch 401(k) Wellness Scorecard noted, "Tools such as automatic enrollment, age-based default investments and guidance are helping workers improve their financial wellness." The quarterly scorecard monitors plan participant behavior and plan sponsor adoption of new plan design features and services among 401(k) plans Band of America Merrill Lynch administers.
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  • How America Saves 2013
    According to Vanguard’s How America Saves 2013, 401(k) plans adopting automatic enrollment continued to grow in 2012, and so did the account balances of plan participants.
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  • 2013 Retirement Confidence Survey: Job Insecurity, Debt Weigh on Retirement Confidence, Savings
    According to the Employee Benefits Research Institute’s most recent survey, the percentage of workers confident about having enough money for a comfortable retirement is essentially unchanged from the record lows observed in 2011. While more than half express some level of confidence (13 percent are very confident and 38 percent are somewhat confident), 28 percent are not at all confident (up from 23 percent in 2012 but statistically equivalent to 27 percent in 2011), and 21 percent are not too confident.
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  • Retirement Planning in the Age of Longevity
    Retirement is an emotional issue and not just financial. People are unprepared to look at finances and will be disengaged from the process until they’ve managed emotions.
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  • Latino Participation in 401(k) Plans Helped by Automatic Features
    A recent Statistical Brief from the National Council of La Raza notes that traditional 401(k) plans are not serving many Latinos as well as they could. One remedy: automatic features. In the public sector, where defined-benefit retirement plans with automatic enrollment are relatively common, Latino workers are on a more even footing with their co-workers in terms of retirement plan participation: 76 percent of White public sector workers participate in their retirement plan, as do 68 percent of Latinos. However, in the private sector, 22 percent of Latinos participated in an employer-sponsored retirement plan in 2006, compared to 45 percent of White workers in the private sector.
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  • New Research from EBRI: Low-Income Workers Likely to Benefit More Than Thought from Auto-Enrollment in 401(k) Plans
    New research from the Employee Benefit Research Institute finds that auto-enrollment of participants in 401(k) plans is likely to be most beneficial to young and low-income workers, although high-income workers are likely to benefit from it as well.
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  • Research Findings—Automatic Enrollment in 401(k) Plans Leads to Higher Match Rates
    New research from the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) finds that employers adopting automatic enrollment in their 401(k) plans have also generally increased the "employer match" to participant’s accounts—in some cases, by a significant amount. The EBRI research is the first using actual plan information on both actual auto enrollment and actual match rate information both before and after adoption of auto enrollment.
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  • Vanguard Analysis of First-Quarter 2009 Participant Activity
    Vanguard analysis of first-quarter 2009 participant activity indicates that the median balance of participants’ accounts fell by 17 percent from January 2008 through March 2009. About 36 percent of participants saw their account balances rise or remain flat. Nearly 20 percent of participants saw their balances fall in a range of 1 percent to 20 percent. About three in 10 experienced declines of more than 30 percent over the 15 months.
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  • 2010 401(k) Benchmarking Survey shows strong gains in automatic enrollment adoption, satisfaction
    The 2010 installment of the 401(k) Benchmarking Survey revealed that the spotlight is shifting to retirement readiness as plan sponsors are taking an increased interest in whether employees are preparing for a comfortable retirement. In fact, for the first time we saw "participant retirement readiness" move up as one of the most important improvements plan sponsors want from providers. The survey results offer a detailed snapshot of the 401(k) policies, features, objectives and expectations of hundreds of diverse employers. More than 600 companies responded to the survey.
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  • EBRI: Impact of 401(k) "Automatic" Features Positive
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  • Retirement Saving for Middle- and Lower-Income Households: The Pension Protection Act of 2006 and the Unfinished Agenda
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  • The Potential Effects of Retirement Security Project Proposals on Private and National Savings: Exploratory Calculations
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  • The Retirement Security Project: Common Sense Reforms, Real World Results
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Reaching Employees Image
Want to educate your employees? These resources can help.

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Reaching Employers Image
Read the latest employer-focused automatic 401(k) research.

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Smart 401(k) Investing Image
Help your employees invest with confidence, using these resources.

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Pension Protection Act Image
The PPA gives plan sponsors plenty of reasons to move forward with automatic features.

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White Papers Image
Stay current with the latest research from plan administrators, plan consultants and others related to automatic 401(k)s.

These resources are offered to stimulate discussion and decision-making related to automatic 401(k)s. Retirement Made Simpler does not endorse the ideas and information presented below.


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