W. Virginia Treasurer to Use Match to Increase DC Plan Participation

March 21, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The West Virginia state treasurer has earmarked $3 million in an attempt to increase use of a state employee 401(k)-like retirement plan.

The state’s defined contribution plan has existed since 1982 and did not include a match contribution on employee deferrals, the Charleston Daily Mail reports. Administration of the plan has been taken over by the treasurer’s office which will now match employee contributions and automatically enroll new hires.

A spokesperson for the treasurer told the newspaper around 25,000 state employees are eligible for the plan, but only about 5,000 are enrolled and only 3,700 are contributing to it.

The $3 million will come from interest earned on unclaimed property accounts managed by the treasurer’s office, and will be used to match employees’ contributions by up to a total of $400. Once the treasurer’s office reaches its goal of 7,500 participants, the match amount will be reduced until the $3 million is depleted – at which time the match program will end.