Wells Fargo, a company that announced record earnings of $3.05 billion in April, is freezing its traditional pension plan for employees. Current participants in both the Wells Fargo and Wachovia cash balance plans will retain their accrued benefits and account balances, but will not receive any more retirement compensation in the plan after July 1, 2009.
“We must manage expenses prudently to help Wells Fargo continue our long track record of profitable growth,” wrote a company spokesperson in an e-mail to U.S. News. “These decisions were difficult and we are confident that we're taking the right steps to ensure the long-term strength of our company.” The company will maintain its 401(k) retirement savings plan with a dollar-for-dollar match up to 6 percent of pay.
At least 13 other large companies have frozen their traditional pension plans so far this year, according to the Pension Rights Center, including Anheuser-Busch, Talbots, and Kimberly-Clark.