An analysis of the company’s proprietary 401(k) business shows 141,000 employees started contributing or increased contributions to their 401(k) plan during the third quarter of 2012. This brings the total number of participants who started contributing or increased their contributions to their 401(k) plan this year to 490,000.
Through the first nine months of this year, more than 90% of employees automatically enrolled in their 401(k) plan still actively contributed. Additionally, 92,000 use the auto-increase feature, a 10% increase from the second quarter.BofA Merrill Lynch’s analysis also indicated plan sponsors are embracing plan design as a way to affect positive participant behaviors. From September 2011 to September 2012, the company has seen a 5% increase in plans offering automatic enrollment, a 12% increase in plans offering automatic deferral increases and an 8% increase in plans offering the firm’s Advice Access participant advice solution.