Participation by U.S. corporate financial executives in their companies’ 401(k) plans dropped an average four percentage points in 2009 to 76%, according to a survey by Financial Executives International.
The average company match to those plans for public and private companies increased 20 basis points each, to 4.2% for publicly traded firms and 3.8% for private companies.
Cheryl de Mesa Graziano, vice president of financial research and accounting policy for the Financial Executives Research Foundation, FEI’s research organization, which conducted the survey, said the increase in company matches could partly be tied to decreases in salary; 57% of financial executives at the companies surveyed did not receive a salary increase in 2009. For those who did, the average base salary increase was 2.1%, down from 3.7% in 2008.
“(Executives) may have adjusted their plan to accommodate belt-tightening,” Ms. de Mesa Graziano said in a telephone interview.
Sixty-seven percent of financial executives surveyed said they do not participate in defined benefit plans, or their companies do not have a plan, down 14 percentage points from a year earlier.
The number of financial executives who do not receive executive-level supplemental retirement benefits in addition to their DB and DC plans dropped five percentage points to 79%.
The survey included more than 1,100 financial executives from public and private companies. Nearly half were CFOs. The survey was conducted in December and January.