Wal-Mart to end profit-sharing contributions

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Rogers, Ark., plans to end its profit-sharing contribution in February, replacing it with a first-ever employer match to its 401(k) plan, according to a letter to employees from Sally Welborn, senior vice president for global benefits.

Wal-Mart has a total of $11.3 billion in defined contribution assets as of Sept. 30, 2009, according to Pensions & Investments.

The retail giant will match contributions dollar for dollar up to 6% of eligible pay, said the letter, provided by Wal-Mart officials at P&I Daily's request. The 401(k) plan has 1.1 million participants, spokesman David Tovar said in an e-mail response to questions.

Wal-Mart had been providing up to 4% of pay into the profit-sharing plan, Mr. Tovar said.

Ms. Welborn's letter said participants will receive their 2010 profit-sharing contributions next March.

Money saved from the change will be applied toward quarterly bonuses for store employees. “You will now have the potential to receive additional incentive dollars if your business performs well,” Ms. Welborn's letter said.

Bloomberg contributed to this story.