25 things vanishing in America, part 2: 401(k) company matches


The company match for employee 401(k)s is disappearing – just at the point where we need it most.

The Pension Rights Center has been keeping track of the phenomena. As of early March, 138 of the nation's largest and most prominent companies have ditched the 401(k) match.

That's too bad because not only do matches put more money in employees' pockets, they also motivate us to save more. Fidelity Investments, which is the country's largest provider of workplace retirement savings plans, released a study last month that said matching up to 3 percent of a workers' salary increased worker participation in retirement savings plans by nearly 10%.

In the long run, large companies have a vested interest in helping employees save for retirement. Otherwise, they may lose their older customers who without pensions will spend their golden years living in cardboard boxes – never buying much of anything.