Intermountain Healthcare to Resume Match but End Pension

December 18, 2009 ( – Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Healthcare will resume and increase its contributions to employee 401(k) retirement savings plans next month, but the company is ending part of its traditional pension program.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that spokesman Daron Cowley said the employer will boost its match to a maximum of 4% of an employee’s salary from the previous high of 3%. About 18,000 of Intermountain’s 30,000-employee workforce participate in the program. 

Intermountain on the one hand is seeing a rebound in the economy, allowing it to restart 401(k) contributions that were suspended for at least a year in January (see More Companies Decide to Go “Matchless”); however, to save money, it is eliminating one of two pension plans and moving the 20,000 participants into another plan that pays less at retirement, according to the news report. Depending on the number of years an employee has worked for the company, payouts could be 5% to 15% less.

Cowley told the newspaper the match was increased to help address the pension difference.