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Fewer employers match defined contribution plan deposits: SHRM analysis


ATLANTA—The percentage of employers that match employees’ contributions to defined contribution plans has declined since 2008, according to data released this week at the Society for Human Resource Management’s 2012 Conference and Exhibition in Atlanta.

Of 550 employers surveyed in the Alexandria, Va.-based association’s study of employee benefits programs, slightly more than two-thirds indicated that they currently match their employees’ contributions, down from 75% five years ago.

However, 2% of employers said they intend to add a match feature within the next 12 months, the study showed.

Defined benefit pension plans open to new employees have dropped significantly. Currently, just 21% of employers have plans that are open to new employees, down from 33% in 2008. Another 12% of employers reported that their defined benefit plans were frozen and unavailable to newly hired workers at the start of this year.

Meanwhile, 34% of respondents now offer Roth 401(k) plans, compared with 21% in 2008. Under a Roth 401(k), employees make after-tax contributions, but they can withdraw those contributions and investment earnings tax-free, as long as certain conditions are met.

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