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Accountants spend an awful lot of time helping their clients prepare for their retirement, so it makes perfect sense that the top workplaces in the profession also make a point of helping their employees prepare, too.

All of Accounting Today’s 2018 Best Firms to Work For offer their staff a retirement plan of some kind, whether it’s a 401(k), 403(b) or 457 plan (97 percent), or a pension plan (3 percent).

Many go beyond that, with over half offering some form of contribution matching of varying percentages. And some go even further, like Davis & Hodgdon Associates in Vermont: “We offer a safe harbor plan - the employer contributes even if the employee does not choose to contribute.”

Ennis, Pellum & Associates in Florida also makes automatic contributions. “The firm offers a profit-sharing plan and ordinarily contributes 3 percent of an employee's annual salary,” the firm reported. “The employer contribution is made to the employee irrespective of whether the employee contributes to the plan or not.” So does Illinois’ Klein Hall CPAs: “We give an automatic contribution of 4 percent of employee’s salary, without the employee needing to pay or match.”

While not as common as regular matching of employee contributions, these automatic safe harbor plans were in place at a number of other Best Firms. Because they’re accountants, it’s probably safe to assume they are aware of one of these plans’ major benefits: They automatically pass the Internal Revenue Service test for whether a plan is fair to all employees – but that doesn’t mean employees don’t value the automatic contributions!

And a few firms contribute more than just money – they also kick in their own expertise. At California’s Johanson & Yau, for instance, “Our 401(k) plan is managed internally by our wealth management team, including ongoing employee awareness and participation activities,” the firm reported. “Employees may consult with our wealth management practice for personal guidance regarding investments and goals.”

And in Texas, the wealth management affiliate of Maxwell, Locke & Ritter is “the administrators of our retirement plan and provide valuable tools and information regarding retirement and general wealth management advice.”

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