Across the U.S., workers are breathing a collective sigh of relief, knowing that a secure retirement may actually be within reach again.
For some, it’s been years since their company offered any kind of retirement plan, let alone a match, a result of the prolonged period of economic uncertainty following the Great Recession. But now, research finds the number of employers who provide these key perks is finally on the upswing.
The survey of 751 employers, conducted by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, found that between 2007 and 2014, the proportion of companies offering 401(k) plans increased from 72% to 79%.
Meanwhile, the number of 401(k) plan sponsors who offer matching contributions increased to 77%—about the same amount that matched before the downturn in 2007. And in an effort to revamp their current retirement benefits, nearly 6 in 10 employers offer target-date funds, which tailor your investment allocation to your age.
What’s more, most companies surveyed reported that they’re hiring new workers and increasing salaries. While 72% of employers have brought on new staffers in the past year, just 16% have experienced layoffs or downsizing. Similarly, nearly three-quarters of employers say they’ve bumped up wages, compared to the 12% who say they’ve had salary freezes.
"Companies are recovering from the recession and starting to grow again," Catherine Collinson, president of the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, told USA Today. "As they are hiring additional employees, they recognize that retirement benefits are important for attracting and retaining talent."
One possible result of employers’ ramping up their retirement plans? Americans’ savings have grown considerably in the last few years. This year, median household retirement savings is $63,000, up from just $47,000 in 2007.
Still, many Americans have a long way to go before they meet their retirement savings goal. If you feel behind, check out these low-stress strategies to plump up your nest egg.