Your employer has the right to sign you up for your company’s 401(k) plan, in what’s known as an automatic, involuntary, or negative enrollment. If you don’t want to participate, you must refuse, in writing, to be part of the plan.
In an automatic enrollment, the company determines the percentage of earnings you contribute and how your contribution is allocated. You have the right to change either or both of those choices if you stay in the plan. However, if you decide not to participate and take out the money that was deferred from your salary into your account, you’ll owe the 10% early withdrawal penalty if you’re younger than 59 1/2.