UPDATE: These are the best -- and worst -- things about your retirement savings plan
By Alessandra Malito, MarketWatch
Auto enrollment and escalation make a big difference
For some, saving for retirement is an automatic task every paycheck. For others, it's a struggle -- and for many more, it's nearly impossible.
The retirement landscape has changed in the last 30 years. Previously, Americans relied on pensions and a defined benefit system to fund their retirements, which put the onus on employers. Now, it's more likely than not that employees are mostly or fully responsible for their retirement savings through a defined-contribution plan, or employer-sponsored account like a 401(k) account. Still, there are plenty of Americans who don't have access to such a plan (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-amount-of-americans-not-saving-for-retirement-is-even-worse-than-you-thought-2017-02-21), and for them, they rely on tax-advantaged accounts like individual retirement accounts or perhaps savings accounts.
Robert Reynolds, president and chief executive officer of Boston-based investment management firm Putnam Investments and Denver-based financial services firm Great-West Financial, recently wrote a book (https://www.heretosecurity.com/) called "From Here to Security: How Workplace Savings Can Keep America's Promise" about this retirement crisis, and one way to possibly fix it. As it turns out, the country already has the plan in place -- employer-sponsored plans -- but could do a better job with it, he said. "Retirement in the U.S. is an opportunity," he said. "We have an excellent opportunity that works for all Americans."
See:It's harder than you think to spend down your 401(k) account in retirement (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/its-harder-than-you-think-to-spend-your-401k-account-in-retirement-2017-04-27)
Reynolds spoke with MarketWatch about the state of retirement savings.
MarketWatch: The first sentence on your book sleeve says "The U.S. retirement system is in trouble." Why do you say that?