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Should automatic enrollment be the norm?

Target-date funds and automatic enrollments for 401(k)s seemed like an easy way to help boost retirement savings, but the reality hasn’t been so simple. Some critics are complaining that the spread of such services has led to higher fees and risks for workers ad lower matches from employers, Christine Dugas reports. In response, Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., says he will introduce a bill to require more regulation and transparency of such funds.

I’ve never liked automatic enrollment — it just seems condescending. A better bet, in my opinion, is to offer the carrot of generous employee matches or strings-free contributions  — or one of those fancy retro benefits they used to call pensions.

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