DALLAS, April 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) today announced it will contribute approximately $228 million—the largest total dollar amount ever allocated—directly to Employees through its ProfitSharing Plan this year. The payment is an 88 percent increase over last year's contribution of $121 million. Southwest was the first in the industry to offer a ProfitSharing Plan, and this is the Company's 40 th consecutive ProfitSharing payment. Through the ProfitSharing Plan, Southwest Employees currently own more than four percent of the Company's outstanding shares.
"The hard work of our People, and the pride and ownership they take in providing outstanding Customer Service, has resulted in four decades of profitability. Our People earned this reward, tirelessly working toward our vision of becoming the World's Most Loved, Most Flown, and Most Profitable Airline," said Gary Kelly, Chairman, President, and CEO of Southwest Airlines. "We had a great year in 2013 because of their collective efforts and contributions toward Southwest's success and profitability, and they absolutely deserve this recognition."
Combined with ProfitSharing is the Company's $269 million match and other amounts contributed to the Southwest and AirTran 401(k) plans. Southwest rewarded its Employees with a 2013 total retirement benefit of nearly $500 million. In addition to retirement contributions, Southwest Airlines also invested approximately $580 million in its Employees' benefits during 2013, which included healthcare coverage, wellness programs, and other benefits. In total, that's more than $1 billion dedicated to the wealth and wellbeing of Southwest Employees in 2013 alone, on top of base salaries.
Over four decades, Southwest ProfitSharing contributions have totaled $2.5 billion. In other words:
- It's enough money to buy 500 million mini bottles of founder Herb Kelleher's drink of choice, Wild Turkey, which would fill 10 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
- Or, $2.5 billion would buy 83 billion bags of Southwest peanuts—enough for 10 roundtrips to the moon if you lined them up end-to-end.
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