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SANOFI US GROUP SAVINGS PLAN

(formerly Sanofi Pasteur Inc. 401(k) Plan)


Summary

Regional standards for employee benefits vary throughout the world.  Society within Europe has higher standards and expectations for employee benefit programs.  So, it is no surprise that Sanofi Pasteur, a French based company, has one of the better benefit packages we have seen.  Although, as a publicly traded entity, Sanofi will likely see investors pressure alignment of its benefit structure closer to the mean.  In fact, with the likes of large new shareholders such as Warren Buffett, we have already seen the company discontinue the existing defined benefit program.


Strengths:

  • 150% match on up to 6% of your contribution.  You can essentially save 6% of your gross salary and the company will give you 9%, saving 15% of your gross pay.  Hard to beat that benefit! 
  • Long-term disability options of 67% of your gross salary and the ability to pay this fee after tax, receiving a potential claim tax free.
  • Defined benefit and retirement healthcare plan in addition to its 401k plan, allows for excellent opportunities to save and care for you in retirement.  Although, this extra benefit appears to be removed for new employees.
  • Some use of index funds

Weakness:

  • Does not provide adequate ability to split investments among differing groups of stocks, domestically or internationally, preventing one from optimizing return to their level of risk.  However, the program does provide access to T. Rowe Price’s Tradelink program, which provides improved access to these asset diversifying groups.  But, Tradelink is expensive, seems structured to steer you in the wrong direction (high fee investments) and is limited with index funds.