With company-sponsored pensions now mostly a thing of the past, businesses are trying to force their workers to put more of their money into 401(k) plans. To do that, some companies are inching up the percentage of new hires’ salaries that are automatically placed into retirement accounts.
In the past, 3% was the default amount to deduct from employees’ paychecks for 401(k) savings. But in 2014, 39% of company plans deducted more than that from workers’ salaries, up from 27% of plans in 2005, according to Vanguard data cited by The Wall Street Journal. Google (GOOG), Apache and Credit Suisse (CS) have been among the businesses pushing workers to save more.
Corporations have many reasons for compelling workers build up their nest eggs. Offering a large match on retirement contributions is a lucrative employee benefit that can be used as a recruitment tool. Getting workers to think about retirement now will also help get them out the door when they’re old. That way, companies can more easily refresh an aging workforce with young employees.
These companies still aren’t really offering their workers a true safety net. They’re just encouraging employees more to build one for themselves. Despite these efforts, 40% of working households with people between the ages of 25 and 64 haven’t saved anything for retirement, according to the National Institute on Retirement Security.