Christopher Carosa, CTFA, ischief contributing editor for, a leading providerof essential news and information, blunt commentary and practicalexamples for ERISA/401(k) fiduciaries, individual trustees andprofessional fiduciaries.

How many workers would perk up if you told them they might beforfeiting almost $30,000 a year in retirement income that they already have? It'sthere, right now, and they don't even know it; their own inaction is causing them to lose it. Why?Because plan sponsors aren't telling them.

Here's the crazy thing: The plan sponsors aren't even awarethey're not telling their employees. It all comes down to semanticsand philosophy. Most people think incentives are more attractivethan penalties, that carrots are better than sticks, that you catchmore flies with honey than vinegar. All this may be consideredcommon sense, but in the real world of behavioral economics, loss aversion tells usthe negative is more effective at influencing behavior than thepositive.

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Christopher Carosa

Chris Carosa has been writing a weekly article and monthly column for BenefitsPRO online and BenefitsPRO Magazine since 2011 and is a nationally recognized award-winning writer, researcher and speaker. He’s written seven books, including From Cradle to Retire: The Child IRA; Hey! What’s My Number? – How to Increase the Odds You Will Retire in Comfort; A Pizza The Action: Everything I Ever Learned About Business I Learned By Working in a Pizza Stand at the Erie County Fair; and the widely acclaimed 401(k) Fiduciary Solutions. Carosa is also Chief Contributing Editor of the authoritative trade journal and publisher of the Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel, a weekly community newspaper he founded in 1989. Currently serving as President of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and with more than 1,000 articles published in various publications, he appears regularly in the national media. A “parallel” entrepreneur, he actively runs a handful of businesses, including a small boutique investment adviser, providing hands-on experience for his writing. A trained astrophysicist, he also holds an MBA and has been designated a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor. Share your thoughts and story ideas with him through Facebook ( Twitter (