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401(k) plans back to pre-crisis levels (and improved)

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Here’s the good news: More companies now offer a 401(k) match to their employees after jettisoning the practice when the Great Recession hit. According to a survey from Schwab Retirement Plan Services, 73% of companies provided a 401(k) match last year compared to 67% in 2009. That’s almost the peak percentage76%of companies that did so before the economy took a tumble in 2006. The bad news? The average match relative to compensation is down and few employees take advantage of the free investment advice offered by the plan sponsors.