Three in 10 Workers not Participating in Employer 401(k) Plan

October 18, 2011 ( - The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued Why Leave Money on the Table—Make the Most of Your Employer’s 401(k) Match to encourage greater 401(k) contributions. 

FINRA said it is issuing this Investor Alert because too few workers are taking advantage of a simple benefit that can help them meet their retirement goals.

According to a news release, a recent study found nearly three in 10 workers (29.4%) do not contribute enough to their 401(k) to receive their full employer match. Younger workers are even more likely to leave money on the table, with 43% of workers age 20-29 failing to contribute to the full extent of their employer’s match.

FINRA pointed out an earlier study showed that 40% of employees making less than $40,000 fall short of contributing the full extent of their employer’s match. Millions of workers, especially younger and lower income workers who need it most, are leaving money—free money—on the table.

“Even in tough economic times, all employees still need to prepare for their retirement. Taking full advantage of a company’s 401(k) match is a no-cost way for workers to boost their retirement savings,” said Gerri Walsh, FINRA Vice President of Investor Education, in the news release. “Employees who contribute less than their employers are willing to match are walking away from free money.”

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