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Fewer employers matching 401(k)’s

Jeremy Hobson Jun 22, 2009
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Fewer employers matching 401(k)’s

Jeremy Hobson Jun 22, 2009
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TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: The children of baby boomers will eventually resuscitate
the pummeled U.S. housing market. That’s according to Harvard University’s State of the Nation’s Housing 2009 report released today. But the report says for now limits on income and credit are keeping the housing glut going. Echo boomers are the generation entering the peak home-buying and renting ages of 25-44.

It may be scary to enter the housing market for some when there are questions about the future. A new report this morning from Charles Schwab says matching contributions to retirement accounts are disappearing fast. Here’s Marketplace’s Jeremy Hobson.


Jeremy Hobson: The report says nearly a quarter of U.S. companies have eliminated 401(k) matching contributions. This is when companies deposit a certain percentage of your salary into a retirement account, as long as you do the same thing.

GM was one of the first big companies to do this back in October, and it seems it’s become a very attractive option for others looking to save money while avoiding layoffs.

Experts say firms that cut matching contributions in previous recessions did so only temporarily. That’s because slashing the match can be devastating for employee morale, and can erase the incentive for employees to contribute to their own retirement savings.

In fact, today’s study says 87 percent of respondents listed the matching contributions as the most important aspect of their 401(k)’s.

In New York, I’m Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

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