When it comes to automatic features of retirement plans, auto-escalation has been the ugly stepchild, so to speak, to auto-enrollment for years now.

But as employers become increasingly aware and concerned about the retirement crisis that could plague many of their employees down the road, retirement advisers are hoping to push auto-escalation of 401(k)s as the solution - and push them hard. But while there's desire by the industry, it could be an uphill battle.

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