Exxon To Halt Employee Savings Plan Match To Cut Costs

By Charles Kennedy

U.S. oil supermajor ExxonMobil will start suspending the employer match to the retirement savings plans of its employees in October, people who received the notification told Reuters.

Kevin Steele, News Anchor at ‎KBMT TV, posted on Facebook a photo of a message from Exxon referring to the suspension of the company’s contributions to the 401K Savings Plan.

“Given the current business environment, the corporation is taking steps to reduce costs,” says Exxon’s message, seen by Reuters.

“The company intends to suspend the company match contribution to the U.S. Exxon Mobil Savings Plan for all employees covered by the Savings Plan, effective around Oct. 1, 2020,” the supermajor said.

Exxon currently matches a 6-percent contribution by an employee with a contribution that is equal to 7 percent of the salary of the employee.

Exxon’s Senior Vice President Neil Chapman said on the earnings call last week after the supermajor posted its second consecutive quarterly loss and the worst loss in its modern history that Exxon is targeting “savings coming from a wide range of activities including lower unconventional activity, optimizing supply chains, lower material and service costs and work process improvements to reduce support and overhead costs.”

Despite the losses this year, Exxon is not cutting its dividend and is seeking cuts elsewhere. European majors such as ShellBP, Eni, and Equinor have already slashed their dividends after the oil price collapse, but Exxon, and the other U.S. supermajor Chevron, are not sacrificing their dividends.

“We have a long history of providing a reliable and growing dividend. A large portion of our shareholder base has come to view that dividend as a source of stability in their income, and we take that very seriously. While we manage our capital allocation priorities over the long term, we also recognize the need to balance in the near term to respond to market conditions,” Chapman said on the earnings call.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com