Executives Enjoy ‘Sure Thing’ Retirement Plans

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Published in Wall Street Journal December 15, 2009by Ellen E. Schultz and Tom McGinty
Jacqueline D’Andrea last year lost more than 60% of the 401(k) savings she built over a decade as a Wal-Mart Stores Inc. manager, she says. The 1.2 million employees in the retailer’s 401(k) retirement plan lost 18% as the market plunged, corporate filings show.

Top executives at Wal-Mart didn’t face such risks. Thanks to a guaranteed 6.6% return, Chief Executive Officer H. Lee Scott Jr. had gains of $2.3 million in a supplemental retirement-savings plan, bringing its total savings to $46.7 million. “We’re proud of the benefits we offer to our hourly associates” which include bonuses, 401(k) and profit sharing contributions, and merchandise discounts,” said a Wal-Mart spokesman, who confirmed the plans’ figures.

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