In a memo to employees, GateHouse Media said it had determined to discontinue the discretionary employer matching contribution under the 401(k) plan effective January 1. The memo, from GateHouse Media CEO Michael Reed, said that the firm would revisit the issue and “hopes to be able to provide this discretionary benefit under the 401(k) Plan at some time in the future.” The plan remains available for employee contributions.
GateHouse Media, Inc., headquartered in Fairport, New York, describes itself as one of the largest publishers of locally based print and online media in the United States as measured by its 97 daily publications. GateHouse Media serves local audiences of more than 10 million per week across 21 states through hundreds of community publications and local Web sites.
A list of GateHouse Media publications is available at http://www.gatehousemedia.com/publications/.
The firm is the latest of several to suspend their 2009 matching contributions as 2008 wound to a close, including Sears (see “Sears Suspends 401(k) Match in Face of Declining Sales“), TheDenver Post (see “Denver Post Latest to Suspend 401(k) Match“), Unisys (see “Unisys Cuts 401(k) Match“), Starbucks (see “Starbucks 401(k) Match Goes Discretionary“), Motorola (see “Motorola Freezes Pension, Suspends 401(k) Match“), and FedEx (see “FedEx Suspends Match, Cuts Pay“).
However most plan sponsors responding to a recent PLANSPONSOR survey said they had no plans to change their 401(k) match program (see “SURVEY SAYS: What Are Your Plans for Your Match?’)—a sentiment echoed in a recent employer survey by Mercer (see “Most Employers Don’t Plan to Reduce Contributions’). And Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc., recently reinstated its match after a suspension (see “Dollar Says Reinstating Match “Right Thing to Do’’).