Three years after the financial market meltdown, data suggests employer matches in 401(k) plans are almost back to prerecession levels. Some 73% of employers provided 401(k) matching contributions in 2011, up from 68% in 2010, according to an analysis by Charles Schwab.

"For companies that chose to either lower or totally eliminate their match, that was a pain point for employees and may have been a bit of a hurdle for recruiting new employees," says Steve Anderson, senior vice president, Schwab Retirement Plan Services. "As employers return to better financial health, they definitely want to reinstate the match so they can be as competitive as possible with their employee benefits."

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