Goodbye traditonal pensions

Wells Fargo freezes traditional pension plan


Wells Fargo & Co. told employees on Monday it will no longer contribute to their traditional pension plan, effectively cutting the total compensation of its workers less than two weeks after announcing record first-quarter profit.

The San Francisco bank is combining its existing program with that of Wachovia Corp., the Charlotte, N.C., bank it acquired in December, and freezing both companies' cash balance plans, a type of defined benefit plan.

"We must manage expenses prudently to help Wells Fargo continue our long track record of profitable growth so have decided to have one team member retirement plan for the combined company," spokesman Chris Hammond said in a statement. "These decisions were difficult and we are confident that we're taking the right steps to ensure the long-term strength of our company."

He said the bank will maintain the dollar-for-dollar match for its 401(k) plan, up to 6 percent of pay.

Current participants in the cash balance plans will keep their accrued benefits and account balances, but no new employees can enter the program, according to an internal memo from Julie White, executive vice president of human resources at Wells, obtained by The Chronicle. Workers can take distributions from the plan after they leave the company.

One Wells Fargo employee, who requested anonymity because the individual wasn't authorized to speak to the media, said Wells Fargo's strong benefits plan has been crucial in keeping the company competitive in terms of recruitment.

"Now the benefits side is deteriorating," the worker said. "It's a big disappointment. There is a feeling of lack of loyalty."

Comment: To quote Chris Farley (or misquote him): "I'll be living in a van down by the river!". Realistically one needs to SAVE SAVE SAVE for retirement. Starting early is best.


  1. Good bye, and good riddance--how many companies, cities, towns, and nations do they need to bankrupt before we learn that presuming on the future is not a good idea?

  2. Wow, I didn't even realize that any companies still had pension plans. I thought the only people who still had pensions were older people who retired years ago. I'm not sure about government though. For some reason it seems like government workers in large part still have pensions.

  3. And make sure to work your butt off on the merger!


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