401(k) Providers

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''Automatic'' 401(k) accounts, sometimes called autopilot plans, bypass employee inertia by setting ''default'' plan participation levels for workers who make no choice about their 401(k) investing options. First developed in the 1990s by private industry and researchers at the U.S. Treasury Department, the concept has found its way into plans being offered by Vanguard Group, Principal Financial Group, Prudential Financial Inc., and others, as well as into some self-administered corporate plans.

CFO magazine senior editor Roy Harris weighs the pros and cons of this approach to boosting retirement savings in ''Make It Automatic.'' Our buyer's guide also includes an extensive guide to 401(k) providers, a directory of useful resources on the Web, and further recommended reading.

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