Recs

2

Who's in Line for a Better Retirement?

Don't let it get away!

Keep track of the stocks that matter to you.

Help yourself with the Fool's FREE and easy new watchlist service today.

Pensions are becoming quaint artifacts of yesteryear, replaced by company-sponsored retirement plans such as 401(k)s. Used effectively, these plans can help us build a solid financial future, but some make the process much easier than others.

Who's on top?
The folks at BrightScope rate retirement plans at gobs of companies, and they've just released their 2010 list of the top 30 plans. In the typical 401(k) plan, an employer matches 50% of your contributions up to the first 6% of your salary, meaning that it will chip in as much as 3% of your pay. In comparison, here's what some of the top-rated companies' plans offer:  

  • Biotech titan Amgen (Nasdaq: AMGN  ) makes a 5% "core" contribution to workers' accounts, then matches 100% of employee contributions up to 5% of salary.
  • Steel company Nucor (NYSE: NUE  ) greets employee contributions up to 7% of salary with a match between 5% and 25%, depending on company performance. But look at the big picture, and you'll also find annual profit-sharing bonuses that can top 20% of salary in good years.
  • Tobacco giant Altria (NYSE: MO  ) matches employee contributions up to 3% after 90 days on the job. After a year, workers can receive a company contribution to their retirement account representing 10% to 15% of their salary.
  • At Chevron (NYSE: CVX  ) , if you contribute at least 2% of your salary, the company will chip in another 8%. Whereas many company plans offer limited investment options, Chevron lets you access more than 2,000 mutual funds.

Learning what the best plans offer can help you evaluate your own plan and those of prospective employers. You may also be able to use the information to improve your current plan. Talk with your benefits department about features you'd like to see; if they hear from enough employees, they might actually make those changes. (It's a big deal for a company to up its matching from 50% to 100%, but it's much less expensive for your plan to offer a wider range of available mutual funds.)

Finally, as an investor, consider tapping Brightscope's resources to learn how attractive a prospective portfolio holding is for workers. The companies with the most generous retirement benefits (and other benefits) are more likely to hang on to valuable employees, and that should ultimately benefit shareholders. The best companies serve their customers, shareholders, and employees.

Learn more about retiring richer. Click here to read the Fool's new special report, The 7 Secrets to Salvage Your Retirement Today.

We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian owns shares of Amgen. Nucor is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick. Chevron is a Motley Fool Income Investor recommendation. The Fool owns shares of Altria Group and Nucor. Try any of our investing newsletter services free for 30 days. The Motley Fool is Fools writing for Fools.


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (2)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 1401061, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/31/2014 10:28:57 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Selena Maranjian
TMFSelena

Selena Maranjian has been writing for the Fool since 1996 and covers basic investing and personal finance topics. She also prepares the Fool's syndicated newspaper column and has written or co-written a number of Fool books. For more financial and non-financial fare (as well as silly things), follow her on Twitter...

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 17,339.22 143.80 0.84%
S&P 500 2,013.07 18.42 0.92%
NASD 4,623.32 57.18 1.25%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/31/2014 10:13 AM
AMGN $162.81 Up +1.23 +0.76%
Amgen, Inc. CAPS Rating: ****
CVX $117.00 Down -0.20 -0.17%
Chevron CAPS Rating: *****
MO $48.05 Up +0.55 +1.15%
Altria Group, Inc. CAPS Rating: ****
NUE $53.00 Down -0.07 -0.13%
Nucor CAPS Rating: ****

Advertisement