According to an article in the Dallas Morning News the Dallas-based 7-Eleven Inc. will implement 200 job losses and suspend 401(k) contributions in an effort to minimize further job losses. The job losses won’t affect the actual stores but will affect workers in the corporate and other non-store operations.

The company is also suspending merit pay increases and bonuses for most other workers who aren’t facing job losses — yet. As we have previously discussed on this blog, the retail industry is being hard hit by this economic downturn.

But this is the first (of probably many) actual benefits cuts being announced in the news. We knew it was coming but we weren’t quite sure who would be the first to so publicly cut retirement benefits for workers. The fact that 7-Eleven is cutting 401(k) contributions is huge and will affect these workers’ income not just now but when they retire.

Many workers chose who they will work for based on income and benefits including retirement contributions. Now those who have worked with 7-Eleven with the expectation of company contributions to their 401(k) are facing a rude awakening. But as job losses mount, we can expect to see more cuts to benefits, including health insurance as companies struggle to avoid bankruptcy.