Vanguard Study Shows Seismic Shift in Retirement Investing

Vanguard Study Shows Seismic Shift in Retirement Investing

July 25, 2023

With automatic enrollment tripling, advisors need to position themselves for rollover business, advisors say.

America’s retirement investment landscape is undergoing a seismic shift, and financial advisors need to adapt to new challenges — and new opportunities.

That’s the consensus of investment professionals responding to a new Vanguard report that found a continuing surge in 401(k) plan participation as more companies switch to automatic enrollment.

The use of automatic enrollment has more than tripled since 2007, when the Pension Protection Act (PPA) of 2006 took effect, according to the annual How America Saves report, which looks at saving behaviors of nearly 5 million Vanguard defined contribution plan participants. At the end of 2022, 58% of Vanguard plans had adopted automatic enrollment, including 76% of plans with at least 1,000 participants.

Target-date retirement funds make up 98% of automatic enrollment plans, and more companies are offering plans with managed account advice services that help employees with investing and planning decisions.

In 2022, 41% of all plans offered managed-account advice; amongst larger plans with more than 5,000 employees, 81% offered this service. Altogether, nearly three in four plan participants now have access to advice, such as a robo-advisor or guidance from a CFP.


In a four-decade career in journalism, Ed Prince has served as an editor with many of New Jersey’s leading newspapers, including the Star-Ledger, Asbury Park Press and Home News Tribune. Republished with permission from

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