Paper Company Cuts Match

May 8, 2009 ( - Verso Paper Corp. posted a 37% decrease in net sales for the first quarter of 2009 compared to the year-ago quarter - and a series of cost-cutting measures.

Among those changes, according to the Memphis Business Journal – suspension of the company’s 401(k) match, as well as hiring and salary freezes.

The company’s sales decrease is directly related to historically low shipments for coated papers, which are typically used for print ads. Ad spending has been reduced greatly because of current economic conditions, according to the Business Journal, citing Robert Mundy, senior vice president and COO of Verso.

Based in Me, Verso Paper makes coated papers, including coated groundwood and coated freesheet, and super-calendered products. Verso’s paper products are used primarily in media and marketing applications, including magazines, catalogs and commercial printing applications, according to the report.

Tracking the Trends

In recent months, there have been reports not only about the impact of an employer match on savings rates (see Schwab Finds Employer Match, Employee Savings Link ), but also reports of a number of plan sponsors deciding to cut or temporarily suspend their match (see Tightening Economy Drives More 401(k) Match Suspensions ).

Meanwhile, this week saw a number of employers making announcements about moves to suspend their 401(k) match (see Milwaukee Musicians See 401(k) Match Suspension , Insurance Broker Willis Suspends 401(k) Match, Freezes Pension, Hotel Chain Checks Out with 401(k) Match , Gibraltar Industries Suspends Match in Cost-cutting Effort , Cincinnati Bell Suspends Match ) – and one, Wells Fargo – that froze its defined benefit plans, but kept its 401(k) match intact (see Wells Fargo Freezes Pension, Maintains Match ).