The poll, sponsored by The Principal Financial Group and conducted by the Profit Sharing/401k Council of America (PSCA), also found that 43% of plan sponsors surveyed said they increased employee education because of the economic conditions. Another 17% added investment advice for employees, according to a release of the results.
“Retirement plans are a vital part of not-for-profits’ strategies to attract and retain the best employees. The study shows that a large majority of them stepped up to the plate to support the plans—and their employees—during the recession,” said David Wray, president of PSCA.
According to the survey, only 16.6% of plan sponsor respondents reported a decrease in plan participation during 2008 to 2009, and just 16.9% experienced a drop in employee deferrals.
However, participation did suffer among those organizations that suspended their matching contribution. Just more than half of organizations that suspended their match reported a decrease in plan participation, compared to only 12% of organizations that did not make changes to the match.
Other survey findings include:
- Among 403(b) plan sponsors who reduced their matching contribution, 23.5% will reinstate the match during the next six months. Among 401(k) plan sponsors who reduced the match, 41.3% will restore the match during the next six months.
- Smaller organizations were more likely to report reducing or suspending their non-matching contributions. Larger organizations were more likely to reduce or suspend their matching contributions.
- Some 13.3% of 403(b) plan sponsors are unsure of their ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) status.
The PSCA poll covered 609 403(b) plan sponsors from across the country.