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AJ Gave us all some good replies and food for thought.

My experience and beliefs. I never had an auto-enroll, but worked for a large company that encouraged 401K investments and had yearly seminars and lots of emails encouraging this.

The Tax Code helped to foster these actions at the largest companies. Safe Harbor and rules about who is participating in the plan drove this behavior and education.
As a large corporation salaries ranged from low to medium incomes (relative to the year worked) , all the way up to Hundreds of Thousands and higher.
Employees could save a large percentage of their compensation if they could afford it.
So if a large percentage of the rank and file workers making 30K - 100K participated then the people at the top end had those same caps. Rank and file could sock away 15 K 0r up to about 20K depending on that years tax code. The higher salaried employees could save the same max contribution for the year.

After I left that job , I got a job at a smaller but sizable company. They had a smaller percentage of rank and file participating. This meant the the higher paid employees were considered HCE (highly compensated employees). Their 401K contribution was capped at 8% of salary.

So my job change cut my max contribution in half.

So if the higher salaried managers want to save more they need to incentivize the lower tier workers to participate. One way they do this is education. Another way is paying for matching contributions. A third was is by use of the opt out instead of the opt in.

I can tell you from talking with fellow employees over the years. Many did not plan ahead. Most did. Those that didn't plan ahead didn't sign up for the 401K. They also didn't pay attention to taxes and ways to save on taxes. They looked at their net pay-Take Home and never investigated further.
They figured $100 - 200 a month was too much to loose.

They never logged into the 401K site to read. They didn't opt in. By changing the plan to an opt-out, they would save automatically. Not enough but a start. They never see this pay in the take-home and learn to live without it. They can opt-out but they need to take that action.

I am all in favor of an opt-out , which many here incorrectly called a forced savings plan.
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