What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

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What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby fluellen » Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:57 am

I am wondering what employers typically offer as retirement contributions on behalf of an employee. What is considered to be "standard"?

For example, in my old job, around 5% of gross was withheld from my paycheck for the employee contribution, and my employer contributed another 6% of gross on top of that. In my new job, the employer contributes a flat 10% of gross, without me having to contribute at all (but I can voluntarily contribute additional funds).

This seems to me to be a pretty generous policy. Is it? What do other employers typically offer?
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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby mhc » Sat Jul 07, 2012 10:07 am

Sounds generous to me.

Setting up a poll or searching for past polls may give you better statistics if you are interested in that.

I get 4% from my employer.

Of course company contributions is only one part of the total compensation package.
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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby The Wizard » Sat Jul 07, 2012 10:14 am

I'm in a 403b plan where I'm REQUIRED to contribute 5% of my stated salary and my employer contributes 10%.
Actually, empl contrib is 11.5% in my case due to circumstances...
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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby LadyGeek » Sat Jul 07, 2012 10:20 am

I assume you're referring to 401(k) contributions or something else? Here's some background info: Employer Retirement Plans Overview

I see employer matching 50% up to 8% of 401(k) contributions. There's also a non-qualified defined benefit plan ("pension"), which has been discontinued for new employees.
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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby happymob » Sat Jul 07, 2012 10:21 am

I'm trying to remember, but my last 4 employers (most recent last):

1) 401(k) plan with no match (private sector)
2) 4% employer/4% (mandatory) employee contribution into a defined contribution plan + 6% employer contribution into a defined benefit plan (public sector)
3) 5%/5% employer/employee contribution into a defined contribution - 401(a) - plan (public sector)
4) 7%/0% employer/employee contribution into a defined benefit plan. We also have a 403(b) plan available without any employer contribution (public sector)
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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby Default User BR » Sat Jul 07, 2012 11:52 am

At MyMegaCorp we have two company fundings for retirement:

1. 401(k) match, 75% of first 8%.

2. Traditional defined-benefit pension. This is credit-based (years of service and salary history), not contribution-based, so there's no way of telling what MMC pays into it. There's also no lump-sum option.


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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby livesoft » Sat Jul 07, 2012 11:56 am

I don't think there is a "standard".

My previous employer contributed 15% of salary whether I contributed anything at all.
My current employer contributes 2% of salary whether employees contribute or not.
My spouse's employer contributes nothing.
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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby Call_Me_Op » Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:00 pm

My company contributes 10% of gross salary. I put in another 5%, plus max out on SRA.
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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby momar » Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:01 pm

I always thought something like 50% up to 6% was standard, and felt like I got a great deal.

I get 100% up to 6%, plus a non-elective 3.5% (increases a little bit with long service times).

Seeing what other people are getting, that seems decent but by no means overly generous.
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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby ruralavalon » Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:03 pm

I never had a match or employer contribution of any kind :( . Effectively self-employed :D .
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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby tainted-meat » Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:09 pm

2.5% to portable pension plan (no employee contributions required or allowed)
3.5% match to 401k (100% match up to 3.5%)
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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby brama » Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:17 pm

My previous megacorp employer offered something like 50% up to 8% of my contribution to my 401k. There was also a minimal pension plan. I would characterize this type of setup as "standard".

My current smallish company contributes 25% of my gross salary to my 401k whether I contribute anything or not. I would characterize this setup as "very generous". :D
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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby tetractys » Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:21 pm

You probably won't get an idea of what is "standard" from this forum, which is largely made up of higher income employees and retirees. For example the vast majority of US investors really have to scrimp just to fund an IRA, and their employers are lucky to even offer health insurance, let alone any deferred compensation plan.

Typically I think most employers don't offer anything, and for those lucky to have a deferred compensation plan with a match it's usually very low, like say a few hundred dollars a year.

I myself have, after many years, landed good employment that offers a defined benefit plan with a match of about 150% of my under 5% contribution of salary. There is also a deferred compensation plan, but no match; however all the fees are paid by the employer, which is pretty darn cool.

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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby TomatoTomahto » Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:36 pm

One of my employers, when I started there, would match 2x up to 6% of our salary in our 401k. Many employees did not contribute!!! They also had a defined benefit pension.
By the time I left that employer, they would match 1x up to 3%. New employees were switched to a cash pension.
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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby Frobie » Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:37 pm

I've wondered about this, too.

My employer contributes 6% of my salary. Was 6.4% until a couple of years ago.

Public sector (higher ed). No pension.
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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby HopeToGolf » Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:08 pm

brama wrote:My previous megacorp employer offered something like 50% up to 8% of my contribution to my 401k. There was also a minimal pension plan. I would characterize this type of setup as "standard".

My current smallish company contributes 25% of my gross salary to my 401k whether I contribute anything or not. I would characterize this setup as "very generous". :D


Wow brama!! That is awesome (assuming all other comp and benefits are equal to what they would be elsewhere).

May I ask what you do for a living? In your opinion, is the 401K contribution intended to make up for a shortfall in other compensation or risk "perceived" by your company?
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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby brama » Sat Jul 07, 2012 2:16 pm

HopeToGolf wrote:
brama wrote:My current smallish company contributes 25% of my gross salary to my 401k whether I contribute anything or not. I would characterize this setup as "very generous". :D


Wow brama!! That is awesome (assuming all other comp and benefits are equal to what they would be elsewhere).

May I ask what you do for a living? In your opinion, is the 401K contribution intended to make up for a shortfall in other compensation or risk "perceived" by your company?


I'm a software engineer.

Yeah, it's a pretty sweet deal. In my opinion, the compensation is on par with other companies in the D.C. region and we have a rather unconventional benefit structure that provides additional advantages. I have no complaints. :)
I don't believe that the contribution rate is to offset other risk at the company - we are told that it is to attract and retain top talent in a highly competitive marketplace. In many places, "our people are our best asset" is simply a feel-good bromide. My company seems to actually believe it.
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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby statsnerd » Sat Jul 07, 2012 2:19 pm

My employer doesn't have a hard cap on %, just the federal limit of 17k per year and they match 50% of that. This can be either in a 401(k) or Roth 401(k), but the match is pre-tax 401(k). Additionally, I can contribute up to another 24.5k to after-tax 401(k) which I immediately call Vanguard to convert to a Roth IRA.

The 17k tax-deductible and 50k total contributions are federal limits that will gradually increase each year.
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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby BHCadet » Sat Jul 07, 2012 2:32 pm

My employer matches up to 6% of our 401k contribution.

For those us with pension, which is discontinued for new employees, we're mandatory contributing 3% after tax and the company contributes 7% of our base pay.
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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby FedGuy » Sat Jul 07, 2012 4:47 pm

My employer does nothing in the way of matching. I work for a law firm, and I understand that there are rules about "highly compensated employees" or something, which I don't really understand. All I know is that I get no matching.

I can make free long distance calls from my office, though.
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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby Bob's not my name » Sat Jul 07, 2012 4:57 pm

10.5%, which is over $20,000/year, plus $30,000 in tax-free scholarships (total, not per year) for my youngest kid. These were important considerations when I decided to change jobs. The $30,000 in scholarships is worth about $60,000 of gross salary.
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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby gary11 » Sat Jul 07, 2012 5:20 pm

fluellen wrote:What do other employers typically offer?


My employer, a fortune 500 company, matches 4.5% for my first 6% of contribution. Employer contribution are fully vested after 3 years.

My wife's employer, a small engineering firm of about 100 employees, matches 4% for first 4% of contribution. Employer contribution are fully vested immediately.
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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby Sunflower » Sat Jul 07, 2012 5:23 pm

Company contributes 10% of salary whether employee contributes or not.
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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby downshiftme » Sat Jul 07, 2012 5:48 pm

Zero. Zippo. Nothing of any kind until last year.

Company added a 401k match of 50% of the first 6% contributed last year, so a company contribution of 3% of salary if employee also contributes the right amount. Match is per pay period, so if you stop contributing on any paycheck (like maxed out) you get nothing for that period. Also no true-up, so if you contribute more than 6% some months and less others, you get the up to 3% only in those pay periods when your contribution was 6% or more. You get less in any period you contributed less, down to zero if you skip a payperiod.
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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby downshiftme » Sat Jul 07, 2012 5:51 pm

10.5%, which is over $20,000/year, plus $30,000 in tax-free scholarships


Wow, Bob. This is generous. Is this company standard? A special deal for you? If this is common, can you share what industry this is. I'd like to find employment there.
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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby Mudpuppy » Sat Jul 07, 2012 6:00 pm

Public employee here, still with a pension under CalPERS. Our agency requires employees to contribute 4.5% of their salary to CalPERS. There is an agency contribution to CalPERS, but I don't know if that is a percentage or a flat rate per employee. We also have voluntary retirement plans (401(k), 403(b), 457(b)), but there is no match for the voluntary plans.

Oddly, most of my co-workers who are voluntarily saving towards retirement have selected the 403(b) plan even though it has much poorer investment choices compared to the 401(k) and 457(b) plans (both managed by the same provider). I suspect that is because the 403(b) providers are ruthless about advertising whereas the 401(k)/457(b) provider just occasionally schedules a retirement workshop that is only advertised with an email.
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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby nodenuff2 » Sat Jul 07, 2012 6:39 pm

My employer of 40 years has a defined benfit retirement plan based on salary, years of service and years in the plan. I have been in it since I was 26 when it started. There are many settlement options including a lump sum or a partial lump. We also have a 401k the employer matches first 4%.This was started in 1982. The defined benefit plan was changed in 2008 for new employees to go from replacing a max of 70% of last 5 years average pay to replacing 40% . I feel so fortunate to have these benefits. They are a lot more important now than they were at 30-40.
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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby Johm221122 » Sat Jul 07, 2012 6:46 pm

100% match up to 4% before that old company (sold to new company) was 100% match no limit (I was only putting in 18%,wish I knew better back then).They went out of business during 9/11
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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby DVMResident » Sat Jul 07, 2012 8:39 pm

403(b): 3% mandatory/3% match
401(a) and 457: no match, but allows for additional tax advantage space

403(b), 401(a), and 457 have >200 fund choices, including most (if not all) VG funds. Management fee is .15% over fund fees. Not great in terms of match, but good fees, fund choices, and lots of tax advantage space if you're lucky enough to salary to fill it all.

Pension: 2.5% per year of service, 10 vest, no employee contribution; and access to health care at employee rate (employer adds in varying regressive amount based on salary).
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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby Bob's not my name » Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:04 pm

downshiftme wrote:
10.5%, which is over $20,000/year, plus $30,000 in tax-free scholarships
Wow, Bob. This is generous. Is this company standard? A special deal for you? If this is common, can you share what industry this is. I'd like to find employment there.
Ha ha. Other posts above indicate (to my surprise) double digit match is not uncommon. No, it's not a special deal for me. One of my kids just started at a place with even better tax-advantaged benefits -- 5% 401k matching but also an employer-funded DBPP, and better scholarships.
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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby Anon1234 » Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:25 pm

9% total. 1:1 up to 6% of salary plus 3% (this was added when they froze the DBPP). 6% matched every pay period, or true up at year end.
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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby jayars35 » Sat Jul 07, 2012 10:12 pm

My main job is as a school teacher in North Carolina. 6% of our gross goes into the state retirement system. The state's contribution varies from year to year based on what the legislature and governor decide they need to contribute. We also have access to a 401k, 403b and 457 which gets no match from our employer. I contribute to both the 401k and 457 for a total equal to 20% of my gross.

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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby madef88 » Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:54 am

Employer (Private) contributes 4% of gross salary if I contribute 1%, 8% if I contribute 2%.
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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby Deputy217 » Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:55 am

Hey everyone!

Been browsing for awhile and this is my first post. My employer uses TCDRS as their 401k provider. TCDRS says in my members area that they withhold they max at 7% that I can contribute with an interest rate of 7% annually. Now my employer matches me 205%. I'm sure this is really good. Now I have searched on TCDRS website if I could contribute more each month, cause I was thinking I'll have no need for Another IRA cause I could just add more to my current 401k with no risk.

Is this a good idea or should I open an additional IRA? I currently have only my 401k and around $9000 in local bank savings. Been working on my Emergency Fund first :)

I'm 30, make 45k year in Texas. Single and only minimal bills to pay.
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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby mackstann » Sun Jul 08, 2012 2:05 am

Mine matches up to 3%.
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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby ErekS » Sun Jul 08, 2012 3:12 am

statsnerd wrote:My employer doesn't have a hard cap on %, just the federal limit of 17k per year and they match 50% of that. This can be either in a 401(k) or Roth 401(k), but the match is pre-tax 401(k). Additionally, I can contribute up to another 24.5k to after-tax 401(k) which I immediately call Vanguard to convert to a Roth IRA.

The 17k tax-deductible and 50k total contributions are federal limits that will gradually increase each year.


This sounds exactly like my new company. I had been discounting the after tax 401 (k) but it sounds like you can use it as a normal Roth IRA with a limit of 24.5k instead of 5k. Is this accurate?
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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby LadyGeek » Sun Jul 08, 2012 9:30 am

Deputy217 wrote:..Been browsing for awhile and this is my first post....I was thinking I'll have no need for Another IRA cause I could just add more to my current 401k with no risk.

Is this a good idea or should I open an additional IRA? I currently have only my 401k and around $9000 in local bank savings. Been working on my Emergency Fund first :)

I'm 30, make 45k year in Texas. Single and only minimal bills to pay.

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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby jmg229 » Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:01 pm

At my previous job, 3% of my gross (over $6000 per year) went toward a pension, with 5 years to vest, which I didn't get to, so I just get my 3% pre-tax back. New job is 7% employer contribution with no required employee contribution. Only 2 years to vest. Both are in public education.
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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby MoneyOCD » Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:10 pm

Reading all replies made me really jealous. We both work for that same Mega Corp and have ZERO match.

We had 25% match up to first 6% of our contributions before 2009.
That is peanuts compare to what many guys here have but still better then 0.

Then in January 2009 company announced that they suspended match – many companies did the same at that time, it was not a surprise.
In September 2009 we got acquired by even bigger Mega Corp. That one also had suspended its match at that time.
New owner restored match to its employees in 2010 but not for us, we still continue to get zero.

I did not know that one company can have different 401k plans for different business areas.
We even have very different benefits including insurances, paid holidays, vacation times.
Looked up 11-k filing for our company and in June 2012 they submitted docs for 3 different 401k plans:
Plan A: Employees are getting 50% match up to 4% = 2% of pay, plus company contributions of straight 4%. :shock:
Plan B: Employees are getting 50% match up to 6% =3% of pay
(2011 proxy have indications that this will increase to 50% of 8% in 2013= 4% of pay) :?
Plan C: No match or company contributions. :annoyed
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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby Tyrobi » Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:46 pm

My Megacorp offers:

    1. 401(k) match 7%-10% based on age (0.5% increment every 5 years from age 35 to 60)

    2. Pension Plan 2%-4% based on age (0.5% increment every 5 years from age 35 to 50) that earns the same as the interest rate on 30-year U.S. Treasury bonds
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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby ruralavalon » Sun Jul 08, 2012 2:02 pm

Deputy217 wrote:Hey everyone!

Been browsing for awhile and this is my first post. My employer uses TCDRS as their 401k provider. TCDRS says in my members area that they withhold they max at 7% that I can contribute with an interest rate of 7% annually. Now my employer matches me 205%. I'm sure this is really good. Now I have searched on TCDRS website if I could contribute more each month, cause I was thinking I'll have no need for Another IRA cause I could just add more to my current 401k with no risk.

Is this a good idea or should I open an additional IRA? I currently have only my 401k and around $9000 in local bank savings. Been working on my Emergency Fund first :)

I'm 30, make 45k year in Texas. Single and only minimal bills to pay.

Welcome to the forum :) .

Whether its a good idea to start an IRA depends a lot on what choices are offered in the 401k, at what expense ratios, and on your personal debt and tax situation. You could start a new thread posting additional information for some help, please see -- viewtopic.php?t=6212 .
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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby soaring » Sun Jul 08, 2012 2:44 pm

matched 100% of employee contribution up to 5% of employee gross
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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby Angst » Sun Jul 08, 2012 2:47 pm

Gee, I feel left in the dust.

We get 1.75% if we contribute at least 4%.

We do however have a DBPP as well, based on years of service and salary.
I have yet to figure out what it might eventually be worth to me.
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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby NateW » Sun Jul 08, 2012 2:51 pm

I get a 2.5% of salary match on my 401K, which equates to about $2,300 a year, but my 401k fees are so high (1.76% of plan assets, and possibly a wrap fee on top of that) that my expenses are at least $4,400 per year, so I am in the hole. :( I work for a non-proffit organization.

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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby THY4373 » Sun Jul 08, 2012 3:45 pm

Wife's employer 10% of salary but NOT a match. That is you can put in 0% and they still put in 10%. Nice because we can have my wife front load her contributions at the beginning of year to let her money work a little bit longer for her.

My employer (quasi-public), 1% not a match + 6%/100% match to 401k. Also 5% salary to portable cash option of pension in years of employment 1-5 and 10% years 5-15. Fees on my 401k plan are very low.
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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby skylar » Sun Jul 08, 2012 4:00 pm

My 403b is fully matched up to 5% for those of us under 35, 7.5% for those between 35 and 50, and 10% for those over 50.

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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby Bob's not my name » Sun Jul 08, 2012 4:08 pm

skylar wrote:My 403b is fully matched up to 5% for those of us under 35, 7.5% for those between 35 and 50, and 10% for those over 50.

Skylar
Nice, but also backwards, since the incentive should be greater for the younger crowd.
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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby skylar » Sun Jul 08, 2012 4:09 pm

Bob's not my name wrote:
skylar wrote:My 403b is fully matched up to 5% for those of us under 35, 7.5% for those between 35 and 50, and 10% for those over 50.

Skylar
Nice, but also backwards, since the incentive should be greater for the younger crowd.


That would be nice, but I don't write the rules. :)

I guess there is an advantage to the employer, in that it encourages older (hopefully more experienced) people to stay on.

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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby livesoft » Sun Jul 08, 2012 4:22 pm

skylar wrote:My 403b is fully matched up to 5% for those of us under 35, 7.5% for those between 35 and 50, and 10% for those over 50.

Skylar

Doesn't sound legal to me. :)
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Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

Postby Bob's not my name » Sun Jul 08, 2012 4:35 pm

skylar wrote:I guess there is an advantage to the employer, in that it encourages older (hopefully more experienced) people to stay on.
Again I would say that is backwards. I'm in your top age category myself, but the employer's challenge is typically getting older people to leave.
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