More than 900,000 employees took a positive savings action in their accounts in 2011, compared to approximately 875,000 in 2010. Of all participants who took some type of savings action during 2011, 76% took a positive action (started or increased contributions), versus 24% who took a negative action (stopped or decreased contributions) – on par with 2010 results.
As it has for the last few years, Q4 saw the greatest percentage of positive savings actions for all of 2011, largely due to integration with the annual health enrollment period. Of all participants who took some type of savings action during Q4 2011, 442,470 (81%) took a positive action (started or increased contributions), versus 107,170 (19%) who took a negative action (stopped or decreased contributions)—compared to 543,340 (84%) and 101,444 (16%) during Q4 2010, respectively.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch saw an 18% increase in plan adoption of its Advice Access service in 2011, with more than 470 plans now live with this service. There was a 2% increase in plan participants using Advice Access, and 3% increase in plan participant use of managed accounts, with more than 140,000 participants using managed accounts. Nearly 25% of active participants in plans offering Advice Access are using the service.
There was also a 21% increase in the adoption of auto increase, with more than 170 plans now live with this feature, and a 14% increase in the adoption of auto enrollment, with more than 280 plans live with this feature.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Retirement & Benefit Plan Services reports quarterly on plan participant activities within its proprietary 401(k) business, which services approximately $92.4 billion in total plan assets and nearly 2.6 million total plan participants with balances.