Make us your home page
Instagram

ConocoPhillips has the best 401(k) plan, Facebook the worst

WASHINGTON — For most workers, an employer-provided 401(k) is the primary retirement savings vehicle.

But how easy the plans are to use and how generous they are can vary widely depending on where you work, according to a Bloomberg study released Tuesday. Near the top of the list are ConocoPhillips, Boston Scientific and Visa, which offer generous employer matches and vest employees in the savings immediately. But Facebook, Whole Foods and Costco were near the bottom of the list.

Bloomberg ranked 250 large employers' 401(k) plans based on the company match, investment options offered, how long employees had to wait before they would be vested and whether companies enrolled people automatically. The analysis was based on 2012 data from the Department of Labor.

The most generous company, the Bloomberg study found, was ConocoPhillips, which matched 9 percent of employees' annual salaries, even for workers who contributed as little as 1 percent of their income. It was followed by Philip Morris, which provided a 5 percent match for employees' retirement accounts.

Among the least generous employers were familiar names like Costco, Whole Foods and Wynn Resorts, which contribute set dollar amounts into 401(k) plans every year instead of matching a percentage of employees' contributions. Costco and Wynn gave $500 each, and Whole Foods contributed $152 a year as of 2012, according to the report.

Wynn told Bloomberg it has since increased its match to $750. Costco and Whole Foods pointed out they offer other generous perks, including health benefits for part-time workers in Costco's case and low health insurance premiums for people who work at Whole Foods.

Dead last was Facebook, which didn't offer a 401(k) match in 2012, the latest year for which data was available. The company started offering a match in April, according to Bloomberg.

This report comes amid a growing debate over what should be done to get people to save more for retirement. Having access to a retirement savings plan at work is usually viewed as the first step. Indeed, studies suggest people are more likely to save if the process is made seamless through payroll deduction and even more so if they are automatically enrolled into the plans.

Separate studies show some people may want more from their workplace retirement plans. A survey released in May by Towers Watson, a professional services consulting firm, found that less than 50 percent of workers felt their plans would meet their needs in retirement. Most employees said they would give up more pay if it meant they could have guaranteed retirement benefits.

ConocoPhillips has the best 401(k) plan, Facebook the worst 07/22/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 7:13pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Washington Post.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Legalized medical marijuana signed into law by Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation on Friday that legalizes medical marijuana in Florida.
  2. Line of moms welcome Once Upon A Child to Carrollwood

    Business

    CARROLLWOOD — Strollers of all shapes and sizes are lined up in front of the store, and inside, there are racks of children's clothing in every color of the rainbow.

    At Once Upon A Child, you often as many baby strollers outside as you find baby furniture and accessories. It recently opened this location in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser
  3. Pastries N Chaat brings North India cuisine to North Tampa

    Business

    TAMPA — Pastries N Chaat, a new restaurant offering Indian street food, opened this week near the University of South Florida.

    The menu at Pastries N Chaat includes a large variety of Biriyani, an entree owners say is beloved by millions. Photo courtesy of Pastries N Chaat.
  4. 'Garbage juice' seen as threat to drinking water in Florida Panhandle county

    Water

    To Waste Management, the nation's largest handler of garbage, the liquid that winds up at the bottom of a landfill is called "leachate," and it can safely be disposed of in a well that's 4,200 feet deep.

    Three samples that were displayed by Jackson County NAACP President Ronstance Pittman at a public meeting on Waste Management's deep well injection proposal. The sample on the left is full of leachate from the Jackson County landfill, the stuff that would be injected into the well. The sample on the right shows leachate after it's been treated at a wastewater treatment plant. The one in the middle is tap water.
  5. Honda denies covering up dangers of Takata air bags

    Autos

    With just a third of the defective Takata air bag inflators replaced nationwide, the corporate blame game of who will take responsibility — and pay — for the issue has shifted into another gear.

    Honda is denying covering up dangers of Takata air bags. | [Scott McIntyre, New York Times]