OAKWOOD, GA. (July 2024) – The nation’s third largest poultry producer, Wayne-Sanderson Farms was recently named the 2024 Plan Sponsor of the Year for its company-wide employee retirement plan, winning the $200-$500 million corporate plan category by PLANSPONSOR, a leading financial and investment cooperative specializing in employee benefits and retirement plans. The annual award recognizes retirement plan sponsors that show an exemplary commitment to their participants’ financial health and retirement success.

“We are honored to receive this recognition, following the launch of our new company-wide employee retirement plan after the merger of privately-held Wayne Farms LLC with publicly-traded Sanderson Farms,” said Wayne-Sanderson Farms Benefits Director Christy Freeman. “Combining multiple legacy plans required a transition to one single provider offering a unified suite of benefits for all of our 26,000 employees.”

Wayne-Sanderson Farms’ award-winning retirement plan goes beyond basic investment strategy to consider current economic conditions and offer emergency saving initiatives and access to hardship withdrawals. Employees benefit from automatic enrollment in the company’s 401(k) program, offering 100 percent employer match for the first four percent, escalating one percent annually up to 10 percent. When introducing the new plan in the beginning of the year, the company partnered with Empower and OneDigital to communicate plan benefits and accessibility tools to employees and their families, providing a series of translated, live educational sessions and access to a 1-800 number for more information. As a result of the plan changes, WSF achieved a   94-percent participation rate of employees in the retirement plan across the organization and that participation remains consistent to date.

“Employees have been quick to embrace the new plan and we are enthusiastic about the impact of a unified approach to retirement planning and benefits management for our team members,” said Project Lead, Joyce Dunn. “We are off to a new start as one company, and this is just the beginning as we continue to build programs that are sustainable and meaningful to our employees.” 

About Wayne-Sanderson Farms®

Wayne-Sanderson Farms is an industry leader and the nation’s third-largest poultry producer, serving customers, consumers and communities with integrity, leadership and responsible farm, workplace and business practices. With a diverse portfolio of products, a strong operating culture, and an industry-leading workforce of more than 26,000 people, Wayne-Sanderson Farms owns and operates 23 fresh and further-processing facilities across Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and Texas. Wayne-Sanderson Farms produces affordable, high-quality poultry products for retail, foodservice, restaurant, industrial and institutional segments under the brand names of WAYNE FARMS® fresh and prepared chicken; SANDERSON FARMS® fresh chicken; COVINGTON FARMS® fresh and frozen chicken; PLATINUM HARVEST® premium fresh chicken; CHEF’S CRAFT® gourmet chicken; and NAKED TRUTH® premium chicken. For more information visit our website at http://www.waynesandersonfarms.com