AARP Suspends 401(k) Match

Oh, the irony

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AARP, a giant advocacy group representing the interests of older Americans that used to be called the American Association of Retired Persons, suspended its 401(k) match, effective this week. Employer contributions will be eliminated for at least for the remainder of this year. AARP is one of over 145 employers who have eliminated or changed their 401(k) match since October 2008, according to the Pension Rights Center, including Xerox, Morningstar, and Fossil, Inc.

National Public Radio has a fascinating interview with David Certner, AARP’s legislative policy director, in which he describes the logic of an organization that represents the interests of retirees cutting retirement contributions for employees. “In order to maintain that matching contribution it might mean that we would have to, for example, have fewer jobs here at AARP,” Certner told NPR. “And we thought it was really important in this difficult economic time that we try to keep as many people employed as possible so that they have the ability to continue to save and continue to accrue 401(k) plans in the future and to be here next year when hopefully we can restore the matching contributions.” AARP says they hope to restore the match in 2010.

Check out the NPR interview here.