DETROIT, April 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In an effort to increase transparency around Walmart's compliance practices, the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust ("Trust") is leading a $300 billion global investor coalition calling on the company to publicly disclose whether it has clawed back pay from executives whose actions have caused significant financial harm to the company and its owners. The coalition's request is included in Walmart's 2013 Proxy Statement as Proposal No. 8, Request for Annual Report on Recoupment of Executive Pay, and will be considered by investors at the company's June 7, 2013 annual meeting.
"The coalition's proposal asks Walmart to disclose if and when its existing clawback and recoupment policies are actually used," says Meredith Miller, coalition leader and Chief Corporate Governance Officer for the Trust. "The disclosure requirements would apply to senior executives covered under one or more of the company's policies. To date, Walmart has not committed to disclosing any actual clawbacks to its shareholders."
Walmart has relatively strong clawback policies in place, under which the company may recoup incentive compensation if it is discovered that the recipient engaged in behavior that is deemed contrary to the best interests of the company or failed to comply with the company's standards of conduct. In its 2013 proxy statement, Walmart states that it has included both compliance objectives in its annual cash bonus for several senior executives and a clawback of the bonus if these objectives are not met.
"Walmart reports in its proxy that the CEO could be subject to a compliance-related clawback of his cash bonus. However, it is unclear under what circumstances the clawback would apply," says Miller. "The investor coalition is asking Walmart to provide these disclosures for the previous year and annually thereafter to its shareholders."