If I've learned anything from the past week (or ever), it's to never anticipate effectual planning from Washington. Something always gets caught under the wagon wheel.

Take, for example, when a recent Wall Street Journal article examined a potentially flawed design in the Pension Protection Act of 2006. WSJ reports the law's encouragement of automatic enrollment in 401(k) plans undermined savings rates because people put away less money than if they were left to enroll voluntarily.

The Employee Benefit Research Institute backed this up, but I was disappointed the story didn't cover both sides. Yes, automatic enrollment can result in lower deferral rates, but that doesn't necessarily mean the law specifically inhibits savings, or that automatic enrollment is sabotaging retirement. If you ask EBRI, they'll tell you auto-enrollment is one of the best plan features for the lowest-income 401(k) participants. And a new Fidelity survey shows 20 percent of workers wouldn't be saving at all if they didn't have a retirement plan at the office.

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