Say Goodbye To Your 401(k)?

Okay, okay, don’t panic: we’re not talking about the money in your 401(k) right now. That’s up to the stock market, not us. But companies are offering, and planning to offer, fewer retirement perks to employees in response to the recession, a new study finds.

Hewitt Associates’ annual survey of 150 mid-to-large employers found that while half of employers offer automatic 401(k) enrollment, only one quarter are likely to add it for new hires, down from 57 percent last year.

Of those not planning to offer automatic enrollment, more than half stated that their primary reason against the feature was the high cost of the employer match. (If your employees choose not to sign up—or forget to—employers save a fair amount of money. True, but sad.)

A further five percent of the companies surveyed plan to eliminate their 401(k) match entirely this year; Hewitt believes that when this all shakes out, it’ll be more like 10 percent of companies that nix their match.