Ten 401(k) Misuse Warning Signs – is yours one of them?

US DOLPeople are well aware of the need to contribute to their 401k when their employer makes one available to them. However, few are aware that the employer is responsible for administering that 401k. The same with 403b plans. The money to fund those plans comes from the employer.

In some cases, the money that should be in the 401k is misused by abusive employers. The Department of Labor uncovered a small number of such employer misuse … so …

Here are 10 warning signs that your pension contributions are being misused.

  1. Your 401(k) or individual account statement is consistently late or comes at irregular intervals

  2. Your account balance does not appear to be accurate

  3. Your employer failed to transmit your contribution to the plan on a timely basis

  4. A significant drop in account balance that cannot be explained by normal market ups and downs

  5. 401(k) or individual account statement shows your contribution from your paycheck was not made

  6. Investments listed on your statement are not what you authorized

  7. Former employees are having trouble getting their benefits paid on time or in the correct amounts

  8. Unusual transactions, such as a loan to the employer, a corporate officer, or one of the plan trustees

  9. Frequent and unexplained changes in investment managers or consultants

  10. Your employer has recently experienced severe financial difficulty

Source: Ten Warning Signs That Your 401(k) Contributions Are Being Misused.

Moral of the story: It is your money you are putting into your retirement plan. And vested matching money from the employer is yours too! If you don’t receive that money, or it is taken away, that’s fraud. You may begin the complaint submission process at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

About Larry Frank, Sr.

Larry R Frank Sr., MBA, CFP®, is an experienced financial advisor and a published author on Retirement Planning Research. Have a financial question? Click Here to Ask Larry

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