Question: We are looking for ways to increase savings rates among new employees, at both lower and higher income levels. Should we focus on increasing our employer match, or setting a higher default rate?
Answer: Selecting a higher default rate has the largest impact on employee savings rates for new employees, according to a new research paper, “The Impact of Employer Defaults and Match Rates on Retirement Savings,” published by the Social Science Research Network. The research found that when employees are defaulted in at a higher rate, fewer move away from the default savings rate, which results in higher and more equal savings rates among employees at all income levels. In addition, the researchers note that lower-income workers can benefit from remaining in the default plan investment by taking advantage of institutionally priced diversified funds. You can download the paper at by clicking here.