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Most employees leave 401(k)s on autopilot

Published: Tuesday, May 15 2012 11:40 a.m. MDT

Approximately 54 percent of workers aren't maximizing their employer-sponsored retirement investments, according to a study by CFO Research Services.

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Approximately 54 percent of workers aren't maximizing their employer-sponsored retirement investments, according to a study by CFO Research Services.

This happens in spite of the fact that employers usually provide education about the retirement plans, according to MSNBC.

"Retirement is off in the future, therefore it doesn't get the time or attention it needs," Dave Gray, vice president of 401(k) client experience at Charles Schwab, told MSNBC.

Many people feel they're too busy and uneducated on the subject to successfully manage their own 401(k)s, according to another Schwab study conducted by Koski Research. The study polled more than 1,000 workers across the U.S. who currently have such a plan.

Not paying attention to 401(k)s can cause financial damage, as almost one third of those surveyed said they didn't know they were being charged fees as part of their plans.

"The 401(k) is the primary vehicle for retirement savings for a majority of people working today," Greg McBride, senior financial analyst for Bankrate.com, told MSNBC. "This is long-term savings and it does pay to regularly revisit the account for purposes of rebalancing investments and making sure your investment strategy is still consistent with your goals and time horizon."

EMAIL: bbullock@desnews.com

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