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Old 02-25-2017, 08:10 PM   #21
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I contributed mandatory 5% to defined-benefit plan. But we also had voluntary 401/457 which the company would match up to 4%. I chose 457 since I could take "cash-out" without penalty (at age 42). - public servant


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Old 02-26-2017, 05:44 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Car-Guy View Post
There seems to be a lot of threads recently talking about 401k's and matching funds (directly or indirectly). It got me wondering about different company matching fund policies for 401k's, etc. Just out of curiosity, for those that have (or had) 401k(s) or tax deferred equivalent accounts with an employer, what was the companies matching percentage that you received?
Right now, my company matches 100% of contributions, up to 6% of gross salary for each paycheck. My spouse's company matches 50% of contributions, also up to 6% (for an effective match of 3%).

Prior to acquisition of my employer, last October, I went fourteen years without any match. Prior to that, my employer had been matching 100% of 3%, but eliminated the match when times got tough.

Prior to that my spouse and I worked for a couple of employers together, and they matched 50% of 6%.
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Old 02-26-2017, 06:07 AM   #23
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Last company did not have a 401k or similar, one before that had a 401k with no match. Both were start ups.
The 20 years before that the company (or part of the company) changed names through acquisitions or split offs. I don't remember all the 401k terms for all those companies or the one before. The thing I do remember was that maxing out your 401k contributions too early could cause you to loose some match. In some cases a bonus (not real big) would also be matched if as income. However, if you could not contribute enough the last month, then you left money on the table.
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Old 02-26-2017, 06:32 AM   #24
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Megacorp matches 50% of first 5% for each paycheck. This includes bonuses, so I adjust my contribution limit a couple times a year to make sure I get that 2.5% for the whole year while maxing out the 401(k) limit.

DW's 403(b) does not offer a match. And with a nearly 2% ER, it feels like a scam and I encourage her to fund her IRA instead.
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Old 02-26-2017, 07:00 AM   #25
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I've had two experiences with 401k accounts.

Megacorp program changed. At first they gave 4% of salary, in company stock. From what I recall it wasn't described as a match.
The corporation equalized things across businesses later. You received 50% match on the first 8% of your contribution, up to 4% of salary. The maximum contribution I could make was 25%, which was most of the time. I never left match money on the table.
Expense ratios were extremely low. I use index fund options.

Minicorp matches 50% on the first 15% of your contribution up to $2500 total for the year.
Expense ratios vary. They are not ridiculous, but about 50 BP higher than you'd prefer. I can live with it for a few years.

Also using/used max catchup in both situations.
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Old 02-26-2017, 12:52 PM   #26
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My company used to match 3% of salary and also contributed another 5% into a cash balance pension, but after acquisition by a larger company, the pension contributions stopped and the 401k match went up to 6% (loss of 2%). Bummer.
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Old 02-26-2017, 01:52 PM   #27
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Early 80s Megacorp had profit sharing. They contributed an unspoken 10% , sometimes more. In a managed fund, with them picking up the 1% fee.

Before Y2K they added a 401k to be more competitive in the hunt for talent. They matched 100% of the first 3%, you could contribute more(15%) but I was generally limited by HCE. At that time the profit sharing contribution dropped to 4%.

There was also an ESOP program for a while, after the IPO. There were some hefty contributions made, at least in number of shares. Had I just kept the stock at the current price that would be ~ 1.2m. Unfortunately I didn't receive that amount.
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Old 02-26-2017, 02:23 PM   #28
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I've had a number of different matchings usually in the similar ranges mentioned by others with some having the limit based on the paycheck. One of those did a make up matching contribution if you were still an employee at the time that happened.

The last company that I w*rked for gave a really good matching. The first $5k was matched dollar for dollar OR you got a 50% match on your (regular not 50+ catch-up) contribution. Whichever of those two gave you a better match you got. They also allowed in-service withdrawals so a lot of folks were doing mega-backdoor Roth contributions. To top it off our yearly bonus could be dropped into a deferred compensation plan. My bonuses have all gone into that. It pays out this year (a set amount of time after separation) and will put me into a high tax bracket this year but the average tax rate on it will be much lower than having paid my marginal tax rate on all of it over the years.
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Old 02-26-2017, 03:09 PM   #29
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Many Mega-Corps had SERP (Supplemental Executive Retirement Programs) for getting around ERISA limitations on matching. For employees making north of $300K or so, even a max contribution to the 401K program would not allow sufficient matching to enable a retirement anywhere 50% of their working Pay. Some if these allowed contributions and a match, others just topped of the ERISA limited pensions without contributions. On the downside, these programs are not protected if your company declares bankruptcy. It can all just "disappear". Ask how I know....
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Old 02-26-2017, 03:09 PM   #30
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My first US employer put 15% of my salary into a 403(b) and I didn't have to contribute a dime.

My 2nd US employer put 2% of my salary into a 401(k) and I didn't have to contribute a dime.

Ahh the good old days. My first employer was the Smithsonian Institution and they contributed 16% of salary to a 403b irrespective of what I put in.....that was 30 years ago.

So my history of employer matches is

16% to 403b
I have kept this in TIAA-Traditional for 30 years and it's now around 5% of my retirement funds

50% match up to 6% in a 401k
I rolled this over to a Vanguard IRA when I left.

50% match up to 6% in a 401k plus a final salary pension
I rolled the 401k into an IRA when I left and took a lump sum from the final salary pension which also went into the IRA.

Mandatory 11% employee contribution and 5% employer match to a 401a final salary pension.
I vested in that pension and began to get payments this year at age 55.


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Old 02-26-2017, 03:41 PM   #31
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Megacorp matched employee contributions dollar-for-dollar up to 2% of salary, including bonus. But this was for employees like me who elected to stay with the DB pension plan in the late 1990s. Employees who opted out of the DB pension, and all new employees from that point forward, received a dollar-for-dollar match up to 4% of salary, plus bonus.

DW had no match on a 457b plan but her government pension was pretty good. She contributed a certain % of pay, which earned interest, and they matched the account balance 2-for-1 at retirement. That total amount was then converted to an annuity payout with partial COLA.
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Old 02-26-2017, 03:48 PM   #32
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Most of my career was spent working for the same company... sort of... (Many name changes as we were acquired, spun off, merged, sold off, etc.)

Originally it was 50% on first 6% (so 3% from company if you contributed 6% or more)

Then they froze the pension but compensated for that because they upped the 401k match to 50% on the first 9% (or 4.5% if you contributed 9% or more).

Then they dropped it back to 3% if you contributed 6%.

Then we were sold to a company that only matched 2%

My husband worked for small/medium size architectural firms. Many had no 401k - and those that did tended to put $1000 in participating employees accounts. Add to that they often had expensive/loaded funds. Benefits in general were crappier in his field... health benefits cost more and often were for employer only - no family coverage. I guess that's the difference between a 30-50 person company vs a 10k person (or more) megacorp.
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Old 02-26-2017, 04:53 PM   #33
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Megacorp had a varying match for the 401k. Most of the time it was 1$ per 1$ on the first 6%. That went as high as $1.5:1 during the good years, and $0.50:1 during the down years.

There was a change to the pension program. Folks on the new plan did not have the same pension calculation, and it was hard to figure out if it would be a better deal or not. The folks who were grandfathered in to the original plan had the option of switching to the new plan. I only know of a few people that switched. If you switched to the new plan, the 401k match was $2 for $1 on the 1st 2%, then the 1:1 for the next 4%. They would vary the 1:1 to as high as 1.5:1 or as low as .5:1 depending on profitability.
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Old 02-26-2017, 05:01 PM   #34
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First mega corp: $ for $ matching up to 6% and 3% on top of that for a total contribution of 9% for 6% contributed.

Second mega corp: $ for $ matching up to 6% and 3% on top of that for a total contribution of 9% for 6% contributed. Recently dropped to: $ for $ matching up to 5% and 3% on top of that for a total contribution of 8% for 5% contributed.
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Old 02-26-2017, 08:14 PM   #35
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My last employer matched 50% on the first 6% saved each pay period, so the best strategy was to structure your withholdings so you had at least 6% each pay period.... I usually saved the max, but had to spread it out throughout the year by changing my withdrawal after I got my bonus and raise.

In addition to that, they had a DC plan that they contributed 7% of earnings to (for people at my level... lower at lower levels).

Overall very good benefits.
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Old 02-26-2017, 08:19 PM   #36
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We started out at 50% on the first 10%. But we had some non-discriminatory testing issues and switched to a safe harbor with 3% to all employees.
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Old 02-26-2017, 08:21 PM   #37
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Match has always been paycheck by paycheck with no true up or catch up of any sort.

0%
0%
0%
50% of first 4%
0%
100% of first 2%
100% of first 3%
100% of first 2% plus 50% of next 2% for a total of 3%
100% of first 4% Safe Harbor
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Old 02-26-2017, 10:46 PM   #38
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401k = 2/3 match up to 6% of my contribution; or put simply the company gives 4% when you save 6%.

I also get additional 6% as a defined contribution payment, where I don't have to contribute anything.

So for a younger person, if they save just 6% of salary, they get effectively 16% savings rate. Do that for 25-30 years and you should have a pretty good nestegg, assuming it is invested smart and not in some 1-2% savings account
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401k match in Natural Resources sector
Old 02-26-2017, 11:19 PM   #39
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401k match in Natural Resources sector

Hi all, on my third megacorp ATM in the natural resources sector and here's the rundown.
Megacorp#1 - big multinational, 100% match on the first 6% contributed. Plus an additional 6% company contribution, as a proxy for no longer offering a defined benefit pension plan.
Megacorp#2 - another big multinational. Exact same arrangement as the first. Of note, once your salary plus 50% of your bonus exceeded the social security wage base ($118.5k for 2017) then they increased the pension proxy amount from 6% to 11.7%. Was pretty sweet
Megacorp#3 - another big multinational, my current gig. This one matches 100% of your first 5% contributed, and chips in an additional 4% company contribution. Must stay 3 years for the 4% company contribution to vest.
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Old 02-27-2017, 12:51 AM   #40
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A software company in Redmond, WA, used to match 50% of my contributions - up to 6%, so effectively a 3% match. Recent generosity has changed this to a flat 50% match... only limited by the employee's contributions gated by the IRS. So 18k + 9k in matching. Don't yet know how they handle the 50yrs+ catchup contributions.
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