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February 15, 2010
401(k) Match Is Back, Survey Finds

Eighty percent of employers that reduced or suspended their matching 401(k) contribution in 2009 are planning to restore it in 2010, according to a survey of mid- to large-sized organizations by Hewitt Associates, a consulting firm.

The survey also found that 59 percent of employers offer automatic enrollment, up from 51 percent in 2009. Among those that do not currently offer the feature, more than one-quarter (27 percent) are very or somewhat likely to add it in the coming year.

"In the last 18 months, employees' 401(k) accounts took a serious financial hit due to the severe market downturn,” says Pamela Hess, Hewitt's director of retirement research. “Some of them also lost the additional retirement savings that their 401(k) employer match provided. While there has been marked growth in 401(k) balances since the market recovery began, we still see too many workers not saving and investing in a way that will help them achieve their retirement goals. Employers are trying to do their part to help--which is why they are restoring their matching contributions and offering features and tools that push workers to save more throughout their working years."

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