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Automatic IRAs: Worker Attitudes and Likelihood of Participation

Congressional legislation requiring certain employers to provide employees with access to Individual Retirement Account arrangements (IRAs) through regular payroll deductions was reintroduced in Congress in 2007. The legislation pertains to for-profit companies that do not offer a retirement savings plan, employ at least 10 full-time workers, and have been in business for at least two years.

This survey finds that workers at companies that would be affected by the legislation favor the concept of automatic IRAs and are likely to participate. Of the age 25+ workers responding...

  • 71 percent of those without access to an employer-provided retirement savings plan agree that “employers who do not offer a 401(k) or other retirement plan should be required by law to offer workers the option to regularly save a part of their paycheck in an individual retirement account”
  • 79 percent of those without access say they would be likely to participate if their company offered them the option to regularly save a part of their paycheck in an individual retirement account through a payroll deduction
  • 39 percent of those without access are confident that they will have enough money to live comfortably throughout their retirement years

This Internet-based survey of 700 employees age 25 and older employed by for-profit companies with 10-250 employees (at least 10 of whom are full-time), do not offer a retirement savings plan, and have been in business at least two years was conducted for AARP by Harris Interactive from January through April 2007. For further information about the study, please contact the report's author, Colette Thayer, at 202-434-6294. (15 pages)