At a time when jobs are hard to find and raises are paltry, employers are looking to their 401(k) plans to better serve their workers.

Many employers are adding plan features to drive participation and savings, according to Charles Schwab, an administrator to 1.5 million participants in workplace retirement plans.

Eighty-one percent of employers now offer advice in their 401(k) plans—up dramatically from just 42% in 2005.

Seventy percent now include target-date funds in their plans, up from 57% in 2005.

Forty-one percent of all employers automatically enroll employees in their 401(k) plan. This jumps to 57% at companies with more than 2,500 participants.

Thirty-six percent of those companies that automatically enroll workers are also using automatic savings increases, up from 14% in 2006.

Employer matches, however, are down to 68%, from a peak of 76% in 2006.


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