Company retirement plans are the cornerstone of the American retirement system, and they have become easier to join. Thanks to regulations that passed in 2006, many company plans don’t require new employees to sign up. They offer automatic enrollment and automatic escalation features to help workers save for retirement without having to think about it.
But these features can be a crutch. A new study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that workers who are automatically enrolled tend to contribute less money than they would if they had signed themselves up and chosen their own contribution rate. With auto enrollment, companies typically set the starting rate at 3 percent of pay, escalating the rate by 1 percentage point annually up to a threshold. Investments go into a preapproved fund, deemed by regulators as “capable of meeting a worker’s long-term retirement savings needs,” according to the Department of Labor.
Bankrate’s stories explain how to take charge of your own retirement savings. Taking control can make the difference between a comfortable retirement and one in which you may find yourself strapped for cash.
5 tips for investing success
If you suffer from paralysis when analyzing your 401(k) plan, follow these steps to move forward.
10 commandments of retirement planning
To arrive at the promised land of retirement flush with cash, follow these 10 commandments.
When to rebalance your portfolio
Tune out the market noise and rebalance your investments based on long-term goals and risk tolerance.
Should you fund your 401(k) or IRA first?
It depends on your situation, but these 10 questions can help you find the answer.
The 411 on Roth 401(k) conversions
A new law allows you to convert your traditional 401(k) or 403(b) plan to a Roth-type account. Should you do it?
Fund which first: IRA or 401(k)?
If you have more than one retirement investment option, which should you fund first?
Diversify your retirement savings
Dividing your money between different investment classes will help you grow your retirement while reducing risk.
Know your retirement plan
Knowing the ins-and-outs of your retirement plan is essential to maximizing savings.
Retirement savings start now
It’s never too early to start saving for retirement.