America’s working families are increasingly reaping benefits from the growing ability and willingness of companies to automate participation in 401(k) retirement plans.
Research has consistently shown that Americans will start saving for a secure retirement earlier if it is easier for them to save, as it is under an automatic 401(k) plan.
This paper from The Retirement Security Project provides rough, ballpark calculations of how several recent proposals could affect private and national saving. The proposals, aimed at improving retirement security for middle- and low-income households, include automatic 401(k)s, automatic IRAs, an expanded and permanent Saver's Credit, split refund capability, and asset test reforms. With the current net national saving rate at about 2.5 percent of GDP, these proposals have the potential to raise net national saving by almost a quarter.
View the fact sheet--Automatic Savings Vehicles: Pointing Workers and the Economy in a Pro-Saving Direction.
Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information visit the Retirement Security Project on PewHealth.org.