More Companies Decide to Go "Matchless"

December 2, 2008 ( - A Las Vegas casino company and one of Utah's largest employers are the latest to cut 401(k) employer match contributions in an effort to reduce costs.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Station Casinos announced last week it is suspending its 401(k) matching contributions. The casino company said the cut was forced by the struggling economy.

Station Casinos’ executives are taking pay cuts and will not be getting bonuses this year, the news report said. No other local gaming company indicated to the Review-Journal that it is changing its 401(k) policies.

In addition, MGM Mirage terminated its supplemental executive retirement plan in November and has stopped matching funds for its employees’ deferred compensation program, but spokesman Alan Feldman said the company has not discussed changing its 401(k) plan.

Meanwhile, one of Utah’s largest employers, Intermountain Healthcare, has told its 28,000 employees it will not contribute its share to their 401(k) retirement funds next year. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the company told employees about the cutback in its contributions in an e-mail newsletter last week, citing “the difficult economic times we’re facing.”

Spokesman Daron Cowley told the Tribune Intermountain’s decision on 401(k) contributions is only for 2009, and no decisions have been made beyond that. The organization will continue contributions to the company’s fixed pension plan and employees will get raises.

The U.S. recession continues to affect retirement investments, as companies such as General Motors, newspaper publisher Lee Enterprises, and rental car company Dollar Thrifty Automobile Group previously announced they have suspended their contributions to 401(k) plans (See Tightening Economy Drives More 401(k) Match Suspensions).