It’s not very often that the 21st century’s titans of business, Facebook and Amazon, find themselves at the bottom of a list, but according to the Bloomberg News rankings of the largest public companies’ 401(k) plans, those two companies rank among the least generous:
A first-of-its-kind ranking of 401(k) plans at the 250 biggest companies in the U.S. found that ConocoPhillips and Abbott Laboratories are among those that provide the most lucrative retirement benefits. Among the least generous are Facebook Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Whole Foods Market Inc. The natural-foods grocer offers a maximum contribution of $152 annually.
Facebook finished last in the Bloomberg rankings, which were based on 2012 data, the latest available for all companies. The Menlo Park, California-based social media company didn’t offer any match at the time. It started making contributions in April to its 401(k) plan.
The big winner, according to Bloomberg, is ConocoPhillips, a Houston oil and natural gas producer, largely due to a matching formula that contributes 9 percent of annual salaries for employees who save as little as 1 percent of their pay.
And these new rankings are designed to allow employees, for the first time, to see how their own 401(k) compares to others on such criteria as company match, investment options, and time to vest, according to the story:
For example, more than 40 percent of companies allow workers to vest immediately, enabling them to take company contributions with them if they leave. Retailers Home Depot Inc. and Amazon.com make employees wait three years, and software maker Oracle Corp., four.
It will be interesting to see how these rankings change over the coming years, as this research provides a great measuring stick to see just how well an employer stacks up when it comes to planning for workers’ retirement.