The tough luck drags on for workers at America's biggest corporations - when it comes to their 401(k) match.

A story in this morning's WSJ reveals that companies are taking their sweet time to restore defined contribution plan matches, citing lack of clarity in the economy or the more important goal of increasing shareholder dividends.

Federal Express, for instance, will have waited a full two years before its scheduled 401(k) match resumes in January. FedEx spokesman Jess Burn tells the paper that the company decided to ask its employees to "share the pain and make sacrifices, becasue the global economy was so slow."

And for those workers at companies that have continued matching 401(k) retirement savings plan contributions, they could be in for a shock of their own. Another 10% of big businesses plan to reduce or eliminate matches in the next year, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.

This is on top of the 20% of large employers that did away with this perk beginning in September 2008 when Lehman and Bear went bust. So far, only about half have reinstated the benefit, according to Towers Watson.

Seems like the best thing working Americans can do is: Grin, Bear it and Max Out their 401(k) and IRA.



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