Employees who are automatically enrolled in target-date funds when they are signed up for a 401(k) plan are very likely to stick with the target date investment strategy for the long haul, according to a study conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).

Using it’s database of some 20 million participants in some 50,000 employer-offered 401(k) plans, EBRI found that among plan participants who were identified as auto-enrollees in 2007, 97.2% who had been placed into target date funds were still enrolled in target date funds a year later and the fall off by 2009 -- a period in which many investors were cashing out of stocks and bonds -- still only lowered the percentage staying in target date funds to 95.7%.

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