BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- After two years of focusing on the bottom line, companies that stopped matching employees' 401(k) contributions plan to restore the benefit this year.Earlier this month, human resources consultant Hewitt Associates ( HEW), released the results of a survey of 162 mid- to large-sized U.S. companies, representing a pool of 5.7 million employees. Among companies that suspended or reduced matching retirement contributions last year, 80% plan to restore them this year. Many companies are taking steps to ensure that retirement plans are strengthened, seeing the benefit as crucial to a productive workforce and employee retention. Only 54% of employers who took part in the survey said they were confident about their workers' ability to retire with sufficient assets, down from the 66% in 2009, according to the Hewitt survey. According to the Pension Rights Center, a consumer organization that tracks retirement issues, at least 310 companies have suspended 401(k) matches, at least temporarily, since 2009. Among them are American Express ( AXP), JPMorgan Chase ( JPM), Xerox ( XRX), FedEx ( FDX), J. Crew Group ( JCG), Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ), Macy's ( M), Sprint Nextel ( S) and Saks ( SKS). "It was obviously a tough year," says Pamela Hess, Hewitt's director of retirement research. "Companies certainly had a lot of competing priorities, but still 401(k) plans are a big focus. A lot of companies have already announced their reinstatements and a lot of others will follow suit later in the year." Hess says companies never intended for suspended matches to be permanent and that most saw them as a "short-term measure that was better than further layoffs or pay cuts."