Verizon Communications plans to report a $600 million charge for the full year 2010 due to a change in the way it accounts for retirement benefits, following the lead of rival AT&T Inc.

Like AT&T, Verizon said it is changing its pension accounting to recognize gains and losses in the year they are incurred, rather than amortizing them over time in an effort to make its accounts easier to understand.

Last week AT&T said it would take a $2.7 billion non-cash charge for its fourth quarter due its pension accounting change. Both companies plan to report results next week.

(Reporting by Sinead Carew; editing by Derek Caney)