Employers with at least 500 employees remain hesitant to adopt automatic enrollment features in their retirement savings plans and automatically enroll their employees, according to a new survey by AARP.

An overwhelming majority of employers — nearly 60 percent — report that they have not adopted automatic enrollment in their 401(k) plans although most are aware of this feature and its potential benefits including helping employees save more for retirement.

“Too many employers are not taking advantage of a simple, effective and popular tool to help their workers save for retirement,” said Michael Herndon, manager of financial security at AARP. “Despite concerns to the contrary, research shows that employees overwhelmingly appreciate participating in an auto enrolled retirement savings plans, which could provide a competitive edge to employers who want to recruit and retain the best possible workforce.”

Employers surveyed cited a number of reasons for not adopting automatic enrollment in their 401(k) plans, including a concern that employees would not like automatic enrollment (20 percent), concern about costs (20 percent), contentment with the status quo (14 percent), and a lack of information (10 percent).

Only 16 percent of employers who currently do not have automatic enrollment reported that they would be likely to add it in the next year.

To view the full report, visit http://www.aarp.org/work/retirement-planning/info-06-2010/auto401k.html.

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