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How companies can ensure they get maximum employee participation in defined contribution plans

With the shift from defined benefit plans, 401(k) and other defined contribution plans have become employees’ only retirement program, leaving those who don’t participate with inadequate retirement savings.

  1. Identify & Analyze

    How 401(k) plans became dominant retirement vehicle

  2. Evaluate & Implement

    Changing design of these employer-sponsored plans

  3. Monitor & Adjust

    How firms boost plan enrollment

Created by a provision in a 1978 tax law and authorized by Internal Revenue Service regulations issued three years later, 401(k) plans have become by far the predominant employer-sponsored retirement savings vehicle in the United States. ›› More

Here’s a timeline tracing how 401(k) defined contribution plans have become the largest employer-sponsored retirement savings vehicle. ›› More

The financial implications of workers who stay at a company because they cannot afford retirement are real. Employers should analyze their defined contribution plans, says Robyn Credico, defined contribution plan practice leader, North America, for Towers Watson & Co. ›› More

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FidelityŽ Reports Record Gains For 401(k) Savers Since 2009 Market Low

With strong growth in the equities market, average 401(k) plan balances set a record—just over $80,000—during the first quarter of 2013, and have risen 75% since the market low during the first quarter of 2009, according to a survey…

The maximum contribution that can be made to 401(k) plans in 2014 will remain at the current limit, while the maximum benefit that can be funded through defined benefit plans will increase, the Internal Revenue Service announced Thursday. ›› More

For at least a decade, employers offering 401(k) and other defined contribution retirement plans have shared a basic frustration. ›› More

Employers continue to add Roth 401(k) plans to their package of retirement savings options, but employee participation remains low. ›› More

Employers who proactively develop a retirement income strategy will generate a competitive advantage in terms of employee retention, engagement and productivity, according to Mercer L.L.C. retirement savings plan experts Amy Reynolds and Bill McClain. ›› More

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Today's plan for tomorrow's retirees

This Towers Watson report looks at how 401(k) plan design, such as the rapid addition of automatic enrollment and automatic contribution escalation features, have changed during the last few years.

Mid-market employers are embracing automatic enrollment, the biggest 401(k) plan design change since the plans first were launched three decades ago. ›› More

Middle-market sponsors of 403(b) plans haven't embraced automatic enrollment as quickly as their private-sector counterparts with 401(k) plans, but interest is growing. ›› More

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