While it’s true we got hit with poor retail sales and first-time unemployment numbers, they’re mitigated by another indication of recovery – increasing 401(k) contributions. Not only are the size of the contributions once again growing, but companies that slashed their matching contributions expect to reinstate them soon. From the Wall Street Journal:
“In possible signs of a recovery, anxious workplace investors are easing back into their 401(k) plans, and many companies that have slashed 401(k) benefits plan to reverse those cuts within the next six months. Fidelity Investments, considered the nation’s biggest 401(k) provider, said Wednesday that while employees are saving less of their pay than they were a year ago, more of them increased, than decreased, their savings rates in their 401(k) accounts in the second quarter ending June 30. That reverses the trend of the prior three quarters when more workers cut back on savings than increased them. In addition, Watson Wyatt, a benefits and human-resources consulting firm, plans to release a study Thursday saying 24% of companies that have cut their 401(k) matches expect to reverse those changes within the next six months. In Watson’s June poll, only 5 percent of companies said they’d be able to reverse cuts to 401(k) plans within six months.”
Good news …and we’ll take it.