Overcoming inertia: Do automated saving and investing strategies work?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Many workers do not take advantage of savings opportunities provided to them at their workplace, nor do they always make wise investment decisions regarding employer plans. Various automated strategies have been implemented by employers with the objective of increasing retirement plan participation and, hence, the financial security of workers. Automatic strategies work by proactively arranging some type of action (e.g., plan enrollment) to occur unless people specifically opt out. This article examines and synthesizes previous empirical research about five automatic savings and investing strategies: (a) automatic retirement savings plan enrollment, (b) automatic contribution increases, (c) automatic portfolio rebalancing, (d) automatic rollovers, and (e) automatic investment plans. Advantages and disadvantages of each strategy are discussed, along with implications for financial educators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-335
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Family and Economic Issues
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Economics and Econometrics


  • 401(k) plans
  • Automatic investing
  • Automatic retirement plan enrollment


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