State Wage-Payment Laws, the Pension Protection Act of 2006, and 401(k) Saving Behavior

Gary V. Engelhardt

WP#2010-14

Abstract

State wage-payment laws, which forbid deductions from wages and salaries without the written permission of the employee, constituted a binding constraint on firms’ choices to adopt automatic enrollment in 401(k) plans prior to 2006. Since the passage of the Pension Protection Act of 2006, which clarified the legality of auto-enroll plans and superseded these state laws, 401(k) participation has been higher in states that previously required written permission.