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Aside from Social Security, which may or may not be insolvent in the coming decades (I digress).. 401(k)s are a solid way for a vast majority of us to save for retirement. That is, if your employer offers it.
And then there's another issue, auto enrollment. Even though a recent retirement study shows that some 71% of employees are in favor of having auto enrollment into their company's 401K program, only 21% of companies that offer 401ks at all have the auto enrollment feature.
Makes it more daunting to have to go through the 401k process by your own initiative, without auto enrollment. Workers many times don't even bother because it's too confusing or taxing, even though they are fully aware it's good for him. Or maybe they aren't fully aware, and employers purposely fail to mention the benefit at all; that happens too.
Either way, seems if the retirement benefit were really to be maximized in favor of the worker, all employers should not only offer a 401k program if they can, but they should all do auto enrollment, with an option to opt out, instead of opt in. That small change would work wonders on enrollment %s.
I highly recommend checking out The Current State of 401(k)s: Closing the Gap Betwen Employer's Offerings and Workers' Needs. Study is by Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies.
Would you rather opt in or opt out of a 401(k) offering? I think it's clear, but I would 100% rather opt out.