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Participation in 401(k) plans is growing, but employers wonder how many are saving enough for retirement, according to Deloitte Consulting L.L.P.

Researchers at Deloitte, New York, found than 67% of employers reported more than 70% participation among eligible employees this year, up from 63% reporting that level of participation for 2005.

In addition, 24% of plans reported participation rates exceeding 90%, up from 19%.

Other survey findings:

o20% of participants say “very few” of their employees either are or will be financially prepared for retirement, while 65% say only “some” will be prepared.

oThe share of employers offering lifestyle funds has increased to 44%, from 28% in 2005.

o23% of respondents are automatically enrolling new employees in 401(k) plans, up from 14% in 2005.

oThe share of employers offering step-up programs tripled, to 16% from 5% in the last survey. Step-up plans automatically increase each employee’s contribution each year.

Deloitte conducted the survey with the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, Brookfield, Wis., and the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists, Brookfield.


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