Reducing the Complexity Costs of 401(k) Participation Through Quick Enrollment
In: Developments in the Economics of Aging
The complexity of the retirement savings decision may overwhelm employees, encouraging procrastination and reducing 401(k) enrollment rates. We study a low-cost manipulation designed to simplify the 401(k) enrollment process. Employees are given the option to make a Quick Enrollment [TM] election to enroll in their 401(k) plan at a pre-selected contribution rate and asset allocation. By decoupling the participation decision from the savings rate and asset allocation decisions, the Quick Enrollment [TM] mechanism simplifies the savings plan decision process. We find that at one company, Quick Enrollment[TM] tripled 401(k)participation rates among new employees three months after hire. When Quick Enrollment [TM] was offered to previously hired non-participating employees at two firms, participation increased by 10 to 20 percentage points among those employees affected.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
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- Gabriel D. Carroll & James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2009.
"Optimal Defaults and Active Decisions,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
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