When economic troubles began percolating in 2007-2008, many companies dropped their 401(k) matching-contribution programs to save money. Now a survey by the Charles Schwab Corp. shows that not only has that trend been reversed, but more companies are now offering matching contributions than before the onset of the so-called Great Recession.

The Schwab study says the percentage of companies offering matching contributions peaked at 72 in 2008 before dropping back into the 60s. The latest figure is 73 percent.

Two other 401(k) trends also showed dramatic increases. The percentage of employers offering 401(k) investment advice to their employees nearly doubled from 42 in 2008 to 83 today, and the percentage of employers automatically enrolling their employees in their company's 401(k) plan rose dramatically to 42, up from a mere 5 percent six years ago.

The Schwab results, however, were culled only from plans administered by that company, representing about 1.5 million 401(k) plan participants and 1,000 sponsoring employers.