In the past year, the number of employers offering either a target-date fund, automatic 401(k) enrollment or automatic contribution rate increases has tripled, with more than 30,000 employers of the 38,600 that The Principal serves using at least one of the three.

“While national savings rates are still critically low, data from [our report] proves that automatic, do-it-for-me tools are helping to move the savings needle in the right direction,” said Barrie Christman, vice president of individual investor services, retirement and investor services at The Principal. “We saw that in 2005, and the positive trend continued, and even accelerated, in 2006,” he said.

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