NO 401(k) MATCH

What You Can Do if Your Company Doesn’t Offer a Match

Some companies encourage employee contributions to their retirement plans by offering a match up to a certain percentage. Many employers give 50 cents of every dollar up to 6% of an employee’s 401(k) contributions. But what do you do if your employer does offer a match? Here are some options to consider.

Put the heat on available investments

Take maximum advantage of what is available to you:

  • Contribute more – Put a higher percentage of your income into your existing retirement plan. Since it’s tax deferred, it may be cheaper than you think.
  • Try other tax-deferred options – Consider opening an individual retirement account (IRA), if you’ve reached the maximum contribution level in your employer-sponsored plan.
  • Consider getting taxed up front – Contributions made to a Roth IRA are taxed now, but qualified Roth earnings are never taxed.

Invest at home

  • Purchase a home – Mortgage interest offers a potential tax deduction. Plus, the equity you build can be invested toward your next house and eventually toward retirement, assuming that the value of your home doesn't drop.
  • Upgrade your home – If you already own a home, make strategic updates to increase resale value.

Urge your employer

Determine the dollar amount of a potential employer match, then consider it part of your overall compensation:

  • Request a raise – It may or may not work, but it’s certainly worth asking.
  • Ask your employer to consider starting a matching program – Remind them it may help attract new talent and increase plan participation.
  • Compare job offers – The next time you interview, be sure to ask about all available benefits, including the employer match. If you’re not offered one, consider negotiating a higher salary to make up for the loss.