Nationwide Spurred by Tax Law to Give Bonuses, Bump 401(k) Match

Employee Benefits News examines legal developments that impact the employee benefits and executive compensation employers provide, including federal and state legislation, rules from federal...

By Jacklyn Wille

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. will pay $1,000 bonuses to about 29,000 employees and increase matching 401(k) contributions for all its associates.

The move is a response to the new tax law enacted by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump in December, a Nationwide spokesman told Bloomberg Law. The law’s reduced corporate tax rate of 21 percent—down from 35 percent—coupled with other factors gave Nationwide an opportunity to share further investments with its workforce, the spokesman said.

Nationwide’s announcement comes days after Aflac Inc. announced an increase in its 401(k) match—from 50 percent to 100 percent on the first 4 percent of employee contributions—and one-time contributions of $500 to each worker’s 401(k) account. Aflac and Nationwide are some of the first companies to increase retirement benefits in response to the tax bill. Other major U.S. companies, including Bank of America, AT&T, BB&T Corp., AccuWeather, Comcast Corp., and Sinclair Broadcasting Group, have offered wage increases, special bonuses, and more training as a result of the new tax law.

Nationwide currently provides workers with a 50 percent matching contribution on the first 6 percent of compensation they contribute to their 401(k) accounts. Starting in early 2018, Nationwide will match 50 percent of the first 7 percent of compensation contributed to a worker’s 401(k), the company said. This will affect all of Nationwide’s approximately 33,000 associates, according to the company.

The one-time bonus will go to about 29,000 front-line associates, managers, and individual contributors employed by the company on Jan. 3. Workers will receive the bonus in their Jan. 19 paychecks, the company said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jacklyn Wille in Washington at jwille@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jo-el J. Meyer at jmeyer@bloomberglaw.com

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