While many employees may think that a 401(k) plan is throwing money away, there are excellent benefits besides just ''thinking about the future''. Keep in mind you may borrow from your account for specific reasons, maybe buying a first residence or paying for education. Even in some cases it can help you through an economic downfall.
401(k) plans should be part of a standard benefits package for an employee. The enrollment of employees into these plans should be automatic. It is up to individuals to plan for their own retirement, however, investing their own money with a financial adviser may not be something they are responsible enough to do. Companies starting out a retirement 401(k) plan for each employee is a way to ensure that saving is occurring.
No, enrolling employees into a 401(k) plan is not a good idea. Although I understand the logic behind automatically enrolling employees to ensure they will have savings for their future, it takes away their personal choice. I feel that if an employee would rather not have the money taken out of their paycheck, even if it will be advantagous to them in the future, it should ultimately be their decision.
People deserve to make the decision about the benefits programs they enroll in. People like to make their own decision about everything. In our society, people don't want the government or their employer to make decision for them. It is a horrible idea to automatically enroll employees in any benefits program that costs money.