Many financial advisors look for opportunities to win the 401(k) business of local employers because it both provides them with some immediate revenue and, more important, steers cross-selling business their way as employees get to know them and turn to them for financial advice -- especially as they retire and bring them their rolled-over assets to invest.

Now a somewhat ambiguous recent study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) raises the question of whether it is better for these advisors to encourage employers to automatically enroll their employees in a savings plan or to have them let employees decide on their own whether to participate and how much to contribute.

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