Employers Stay Committed to Worker 401(k) Plans
Believe it or not, the recent recession didn't kill the 401(k) plan. The vast majority of organizations kept their plans—and company matches—in place even after the economy took a dramatic dip in 2008, according to a recent survey from WorldatWork, a nonprofit association for HR professionals, in partnership with the American Benefits Institute, the research and education affiliate of the American Benefits Council. There's more good news: Fewer employees are seeking hardship distributions from retirement plans, or taking out loans based on their contributions. "Employers and employees value these plans as an integral piece of retirement planning," says Cara Woodson Welch, vice president of policy and public affairs for WorldatWork. "Employers' continued investment—seen though sustained contribution levels, enhanced plan choices and increased usage of automatic enrollment features—is further evidence that they view 401(k) plans as a fundamental part of an employee's total rewards package." For workers, there's still room for improvement, as far too many of them aren't contributing enough to receive the full company match. Nearly 500 members of WorldatWork and the American Benefits Council took part in the research.