More than 200,000 employees were automatically enrolled in defined contribution plans administered by Fidelity in 2006, more than double the amount a year earlier.
Participation rates for employees eligible for automatic enrollment were 28 percentage points higher than those for employees in plans without auto enrollment, Jeffrey Carney, president of retirement services for Fidelity Employer Services, said in a conference call discussing the results.
Overall among Fidelity clients, the average participation rate dropped slightly to 63.1% last year from 63.4% in 2005. Deferral rates remained unchanged, at 7%. The average 401(k) balance increased just 6% to $66,500.
Fidelity officials analyzed data from 10 million participants in 13,000 corporate 401(k) plans the company administers.