Most 401(k) and other defined contribution plan administrators and sponsors like the automatic-enrollment feature in the retirement savings plans they manage because it gets more people saving earlier, but the fact that sign-up for these plans is automatic doesn't lessen the burden on the administrators who run them.

While many of these reluctant participants may not be of the saving and investing mind-set when they join the plan, the hope is that auto-enrollment can help steer them on the right path at an early age. Participants' interest in retirement generally increases the closer they get to their retirement date, and auto enrollment can give investors a critical head start.

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