The 401(k) Match Game

Americans increasingly favor long-term retirement benefits over a short-term bump in pay

No match? No thanks.

At least, that’s what a considerable amount of Americans seem to be thinking when it comes to gigs that don’t offer any 401(k) contributions.

In fact, almost half (43%) of workers in a new Fidelity survey indicated that, if given the choice, they’d even opt for a lower paycheck if it meant snagging a higher match for their 401(k)s.

Retirement contributions are playing a bigger role in the job hunt in general, the report found: Just 13% of survey respondents said they would take a job that had no company match at all. As the economy improves and more positions open up, job-seekers might be getting choosier about their benefits — and realizing they can negotiate extras, like these matches.

At the same time, more Americans seem to be placing increased importance on their financial security — and realizing the long-term payoff of shoring up retirement accounts now, in exchange for cuts in the short-term.

“Employer contributions play a vital role in helping Americans reach their retirement savings goals,” Doug Fisher, senior vice president of Workplace Investing at Fidelity said in a press release, which notes that employers currently pitch in an average of $3,540 per employee per year.

If your employer currently grants a match — 79% of company savings plans currently offer some type of contribution, the survey found — LearnVest generally recommends doing whatever it takes to score the full match available. Otherwise, you’re leaving free money on the table.

Of course, not everyone can opt for a gig with hefty 401(k) contributions — but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible to make progress on your nest egg. Take a cue from these financial planners, and learn how to retrain your brain to save more for retirement.


6 Common Retirement Savings Mistakes to Avoid

Match Not Made in Employer Heaven: Companies Reduce 401(k) Benefits

6 Signs You May Need to Revisit Your Retirement Plan

Tags: retirement