Your Walmart Benefits & Career: Financial Planning for Employees and Executives

By  Brian Thorp

Disclaimer: To make Wealthtender free for our readers, we earn money from advertisers, including financial professionals and firms that pay to be featured. This creates a natural conflict of interest when we favor their promotion over others. Wealthtender is not a client of these financial services providers. Learn how we operate with integrity to earn your trust.

Do you work at Walmart? Get the resources you need and expert insights from financial professionals who specialize in helping Walmart employees make the most of their compensation package and benefits.

Whether you’re a new Walmart employee or you’ve moved up the ranks into a management or executive leadership role over a multi-year career, it’s important to make smart money moves with your income and employee benefits. For example:

✅ Do you know the right moves to make to get the greatest value from the Walmart benefits available to you?

✅If you’re thinking about leaving Walmart for another job or planning to retire from the company in a few years, are you taking the right steps today to ensure you will receive all of the compensation and benefits that you’ve earned?

Get the Most Value from Your Walmart Benefits and Compensation Package

Throughout the year, Walmart provides its employees with updates about their benefits ranging from health insurance and health savings plans to retirement plans like its 401(k) and the Walmart Deferred Compensation Matching Plan (DCMP) available to highly compensated employees and executives. While the company offers many useful resources and access to knowledgeable staff who can assist with questions, you’ll also find financial professionals not affiliated with Walmart who specialize in helping Walmart employees make the most of their income and benefits.

Whether you work in the Walmart headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, another office around the country, or one of the more than 4,700 Walmart stores across the US, you may have questions about your compensation package and benefits better suited for a financial professional who can offer unbiased advice and guidance.

For example, sensitive topics like discussing the steps you should take before quitting your job at Walmart to work elsewhere, protecting yourself in advance of a corporate layoff, or deciding when you should plan to retire are all conversations that may be more comfortable with a trusted financial advisor.

Should you hire a Walmart specialist financial advisor or an advisor close to home?

You’ll likely find dozens of nearby financial advisors well-suited to help you reach your money goals with a personalized plan. But it may be more difficult to find a financial advisor who specializes in serving Walmart employees.

Fortunately, many financial advisors offer virtual services so you can meet online no matter where you (or they) live.

This means you can choose to hire a specialist financial advisor who lives hundreds of miles away if you decide their knowledge and experience working with Walmart employees is a better fit to help with your unique needs.

💡 In the Q&A below, you’ll gain insights from financial advisors who work with Walmart employees and executives to help them make smart decisions to get the most value from their compensation and benefits, reduce their money stress, and prepare for a comfortable retirement.

🙋‍♀️ Do you have questions not yet answered? Use the form below to submit questions anonymously and watch this article for updates with answers to your questions. You can also reach out to the financial advisors below to set up an introductory call or contact them with your questions by email.

💸 Smart Money Insights for Walmart Employees & Executives

This page is organized into sections to help you quickly find the information you need and get answers to your questions:

  1. Q&A: Financial Planning Tips for Walmart Employees & Executives
  2. Get Answers to Your Questions About Your Walmart Benefits and Career
  3. Quick Facts & Resources for Walmart Employees
  4. Browse Related Articles

Q&A: Financial Planning Tips for Walmart Employees & Executives

Nine Questions with Ian Weiner, CFP®

Ian Weiner is a financial advisor based in Bentonville, Arkansas, who specializes in offering financial planning services to Walmart employees and executives. Ian helps his clients get the most value from their Walmart benefits and compensation package so they can enjoy life and feel confident about their financial future.

Q: As a financial advisor with experience helping Walmart employees save for their retirement, how do you help them make the most of their employee benefits?

Ian: For Walmart employees, understanding how their retirement benefits are taxed is massively important. Many employees who have been with the company a number of years have primarily saved in the Walmart 401K. This causes distributions to be taxed at ordinary income in retirement, potentially causing taxes on social security benefits and increased medicare surcharges. A strategy we consider is contributing to the Roth 401K and/or using Restricted Stock Units (RSUs), once vested, to pay the tax on conversions to Roth so employees can enjoy tax free growth.

For those who benefit from the Walmart DCMP program, we help to determine the right amount to allocate, and how to use that as a conservative anchor in their portfolio to take risk elsewhere. We also like to create flexibility with money in the DCMP to allow for early retirement or other goals.

Q: When you first speak with a Walmart employee, what questions do you like to ask to understand their unique circumstances better and determine how you can best help them achieve their goals?

Ian: We think financial planning is about helping to identify the overlap between assets and purpose – what do you want to spend your time, money, energy, and attention on (these are your assets)? What’s important about that?

Financial planning is both art and science. The information we can gather about who you are, and who you want to be, is just as important as the “numbers” – especially when making recommendations.

We spend time getting to know you, BEFORE we give advice.

It may sound like an odd place to start, when most advisors want to talk about returns and investments (they don’t usually want to talk about taxes). Those things are important, yet without understanding the meaning behind the goals and objectives, we don’t believe we can give good advice.

Imagine you went to see a Physician about a certain issue, and before they got to know your experience and history, they started prescribing medications. We find too often that’s the experience our clients have had with other advisors.

Q: Is there a particular benefit available to Walmart employees you feel isn’t as well utilized or understood by employees as it should be?

Ian: Among Walmart employees, similar to many other firms, Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are rarely used thoughtfully. They can be an incredible planning tool, and are often overlooked.

We also see that using RSU’s to create flexibility is a big missed opportunity.

Q: For Walmart employees thinking about leaving the company to accept a job elsewhere, what actions do you recommend they take before resigning and shortly thereafter?

Ian: We always advise folks to do their best not to burn any bridges. The world is small enough and even smaller in Bentonville, where the vendor population is very tight-knit.

We recommend having a resume updated if you haven’t accepted a new role.

Understanding how your health insurance will transition is an important consideration many folks forget. While it varies depending on the next step, it’s important to not overlook it.

We recommend everyone do a financial inventory and get organized when in a time of transition. It’s not always “fun”, yet making sure you’re not leaving any money on the table is important.

This is the time to review beneficiary designations on old accounts, consider rolling the old 401K to the new plan, or to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) if appropriate.

Q: For Walmart employees approaching retirement age, how do you recommend they prepare to make the transition from living off their salary to relying upon other sources of income?

Ian: The transition to retirement or ‘work optional’ is challenging for many highly motivated people. We recommend planning appropriate vacations and meaningful work such as volunteering/ hobbies before retiring – this seems to soften the transition and make entering retirement much more enjoyable. Determining how you’ll allocate your time is arguably as important, if not more important, than allocating your investments.

We recommend that our clients create an income plan BEFORE retiring. There can be significant tax ramifications of “figuring it out when you get there”. The biggest mistake we see folks make is not understanding how their Social Security is taxed. This can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars of unnecessary tax over their lifetime – and yet, most advisors don’t know how it works!

Get to Know Ian Weiner, Financial Advisor for Walmart Employees:

View Ian’s profile page on Wealthtender or visit his website to learn more.

Q: For Walmart employees who have managed their finances on their own to this point, what would you suggest they consider to help them decide if they should begin working with a financial advisor at this stage in their lives?

Ian: We encourage DIY investors to consider the cost of NOT getting a second opinion. Investment management is one thing, but retirement planning has incredible nuance to it that many people overlook.

How will my investments be taxed? Can I minimize my lifetime taxation? Am I taking too much (or not enough) risk in the markets?

What is my plan to turn my assets into income? What are the tax implications of doing that?

Am I going to run out of money? How should I deal with Inflation?

What about long-term care?

Are my beneficiary designations up to date? Do I understand what’s going to happen to my assets when I pass?

Do I need life insurance? Do I have enough or too much? Should I keep these old policies?

There are a number of different areas that a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) can provide incredible value to a recent retiree, even if they choose to continue to manage their own investments.

Q: What are some of the unique financial planning challenges you commonly see among your clients who are Walmart employees, and how do you help them overcome these obstacles?

Ian: Without a doubt, the biggest risk that we see folks taking is having too much of their overall net worth in their employer’s stock. This can be great if things continue to go well. No one assumes that Walmart will go bankrupt, obviously. Underperformance v.s. the broad market is a huge issue that can have a significant opportunity cost.

There are a few ways that we can manage or trim a significant single stock position, depending on what type of account they are held in. Many times folks have had their stock for years, even decades, and therefore have significant embedded capital gains.

We can use charitable planning to control taxes while diversifying holdings.

A strategy that a lot of folks don’t know about is what’s called a Separately Managed Account or SMA. We can do very complex tax harvesting and specific investment management for much less than the average Mutual Fund costs. It’s a strategy that was typically reserved for the Ultra High Net Worth, we offer these services starting at 500K / account.

Q: What questions do you recommend Walmart employees ask financial advisors they’re considering hiring to help them decide if they’re a good fit?

Ian: Are you a fiduciary? Do you have to act in my best interest or provide “good enough” recommendations?

Will you be providing comprehensive financial planning or just investment management?

What will I pay in fees? Are there any hidden fees in the products you’re recommending?

Q: For highly compensated Walmart employees and executives, are there any special benefits you believe it’s important to take into consideration when preparing their financial plan?

Ian: The Walmart DCMP is a phenomenal tool if you plan. Slow and steady returns and flexibility make it an excellent opportunity to anchor the overall portfolio. We look at it as the “High Yield Swiss Army Knife”, if you will. Lot’s of potential uses – but you’ve got to understand how it works and why you’d contribute.

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Quick Facts & Resources for Walmart Employees

Walmart Quick Facts & ResourcesDetails / Useful Links
Walmart Corporate Headquarters Address702 S.W. 8th St. Bentonville, Arkansas 72716 (📍Google Maps)
Overview of Walmart Benefitscorporate.walmart.com
Walmart Benefits Center OneWalmart
How much do Walmart employees Make?View Walmart Salary Research on Glassdoor
Where can I learn more about careers at Walmart?careers.walmart.com
How many people work for Walmart?Walmart has approximately 2.3 million employees worldwide; 1.6 million in the US (Source: Walmart)
What is the ticker symbol for Walmart stock?The Walmart ticker symbol is WMT.

Facts About the Walmart 401(k) PlanDetails
What is the Walmart 401(k) Plan? Walmart Inc., (“Walmart” or the “Company”) sponsors the Walmart 401(k) Plan (the “Plan”).

The Plan is a defined contribution plan established by the Company on February 1, 1997. Each eligible employee can participate in the Plan beginning on the employee’s date of hire. The Plan is subject to the provisions of ERISA.

The responsibility for management of Plan assets and the investment policy is vested in the Plan’s Benefits Investment Committee. Benefits Investment Committee members are appointed by the Company’s Senior Vice President, Global Benefits or successor title.

Responsibility for operation and administration of the Plan is vested in the Senior Vice President, Global Benefits or successor title.
How Much Can Walmart Employees Contribute to the Plan?Eligible associates may elect to contribute up to 50% of their eligible wages as either pretax or Roth deferrals, but are not required to contribute to the Plan. Participants who have attained age 50 before the end of the calendar year are eligible to make catch-up contributions. Participants may also contribute amounts representing distributions from other eligible retirement plans (rollover contributions).

Each eligible employee who has completed at least 1,000 hours of service in a consecutive 12-month period commencing on date of hire (or during any Plan year) will receive a Company matching contribution. The Company match is 100% of deferrals
up to 6% of each participant’s eligible wages for the Plan year. Company matching contributions are contributed to the Plan each payroll period and are calculated based on each participant’s cumulative compensation and cumulative elective and catchup contributions through such payroll period. Rollover contributions into the Plan are not eligible for a Company matching contribution.

Additional types of contributions may be contributed by the Company to the Plan. No such additional types of contributions were made for the Plan year ended January 31, 2021. All contributions are subject to certain limitations in accordance with
provisions of the Internal Revenue Code (the Code).
Are Walmart Employees Automatically Enrolled in the Plan?Unless an employee has voluntarily enrolled in the Plan or has declined to participate in the Plan within the first 30 days of employment, all newly eligible participants are automatically enrolled in the Plan, and contributions equal to 5% of their eligible compensation are withheld and contributed to the Plan as pre-tax contributions; such contributions are automatically increased by 1% per year until their contributions reach 10% of their eligible compensation. Participants may elect to adjust, cease or resume their Individual Contributions at any time.
When Do Walmart Employees Become Vested in the Plan?Participants are immediately vested in all elective, catch-up, rollover, Company matching and qualified non-elective contributions. A participant’s profit sharing contribution account shall vest based on years of service at a rate of 20% per year from years two through six and may become fully vested upon participant retirement at age 65 or above, total and permanent disability, or death.
How Much Does Walmart Contribute to Its 401(k) Plan Each Year (e.g., Matching Contributions, etc.)?Walmart contributed nearly $1.3 billion to the Walmart 401(k) Plan in 2020.
How Big is the Walmart 401(k) Plan? As of December 31, 2020, assets in the Walmart 401(k) Plan totaled approximately $35 Billion.
Source: US Department of Labor Form 5500 for the Walmart 401(k) Plan

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About the Author
Brian Thorp, Founder and CEO of Wealthtender profile picture

Brian Thorp

Founder and CEO, Wealthtender

Brian and his wife live in Texas, enjoying the diversity of Houston and the vibrancy of Austin.

With over 25 years in the financial services industry, Brian is applying his experience and passion at Wealthtender to help more people enjoy life with less money stress.

Connect with Brian on LinkedIn

Disclaimer: To make Wealthtender free for our readers, we earn money from advertisers, including financial professionals and firms that pay to be featured. This creates a natural conflict of interest when we favor their promotion over others. Wealthtender is not a client of these financial services providers. Learn how we operate with integrity to earn your trust.