The massive market transformation this month that some on Wall Street called a "once in a decade opportunity" might have just been a one-off technical move because of taxes.Marketsread more
The Pentagon will deploy U.S. forces to the Middle East on the heels of the attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities, United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper announced...Defenseread more
Iran's audacious drone and cruise missile attack on Saudi Arabia's oil producing facilities has provided a critical test yet for the Trump administration's foreign policy. A...Politicsread more
CNBC did a deep dive through the most recent Wall Street research to find stocks that analysts say are underappreciated.Marketsread more
Shares of MasterCard are up 46% this year, and 1120% since 2011, getting a boost from the strong U.S. consumer.Investingread more
Trade with China is the 'big unknown' for the Federal Reserve as it decides how best to support the U.S. economy, says Council on Foreign Relations Director of International...Futures Nowread more
Lobbying experts said the visit is likely an attempt to be in lawmakers' ears as they consider legislation that would impact Facebook.Technologyread more
Chinese trade negotiators suddenly canceled a visit to meet U.S. farmers after they wrapped up trade talks in Washington this week.Marketsread more
Blackstone Executive Vice Chairman Tony James says he's less optimistic now than before that the U.S.-China trade war could be resolved, but even a smaller deal could help...World Economyread more
Progress on trade talks will determine how far market will move above new highs.Trader Talk with Bob Pisaniread more
Youngest employees stand to benefit the most from participating in retirement plans as they have the longest time frame to allow their investments to grow before they need them. But, historically, they've been the least likely to participate.
That may be changing.
A whopping 64 percent more employees between ages 18 and 34 started contributing to 401(k) plans last year compared to 2013, according to a new Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysis of the 2.5 million people participating in the retirement plans the company administers. (Tweet This) The increase helped boost overall participation to nearly 80 percent among American workers with access to plans, up 2 percent from the previous year.
Some of the growth might be explained by improvements in the economy and job market. "Millennials are feeling a little more stable post-financial crisis," said Steve Ulian, BofAML's head of institutional business development.
But the rise of auto-enrollment programs and new streamlined sign-up processes have also played a big role in drawing in young workers.
Research has found participation rates jump overall after companies adopt auto-enrollment programs, but the difference is particularly dramatic among younger employees. One report published this spring by BMO Retirement Services, for example, found participation rates among workers 25 to 34 years jumped 22 percent in plans with an automatic-enrollment feature. And for workers under 25, participation in auto-enrollment plans was more than double that in voluntary enrollment plans (29 percent versus 68 percent).
Bank of America Merrill Lynch found that 64 percent of clients offered retirement plans in 2014 that not only had automatic-enrollment features but automatic annual contribution increases as well, a 25 percent jump from 2013.
"Millennials are reaping the benefits of these plan designs," said Geno Cufone, senior vice president of retirement administration at Ascensus, which provides administrative and record-keeping services for retirement and college savings plans that cover 6 million people. "They have everything at their fingertips. They can enroll in their 401(k) and change their contribution rate on their smart phones."
That's leading many to enroll earlier than their predecessors did: The average millennial starts investing in a retirement plan at age 22 compared with age 27 for the average Gen Xer, said Cufone. (Tweet This)
Financial education at the workplace has also helped boost retirement plan participation, said Ulian. And retirement is a hot topic across generations, as concerns grow about Social Security funding and rising health-care costs. Ulian noted that calls from plan participants of all ages to Bank of America Merrill Lynch's retirement help center increased by nearly 18 percent between 2013 and 2014.
Millennials may also be influenced to contribute more to their 401(k)s by their baby boomer parents, many of whom haven't saved enough for their own retirement, Cufone said. "More millennials know zero savings is not acceptable," he said. "And anything above zero is a good first step toward retirement."