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Receiving Timely 401(k) Payments

Kimberly Lankford

Before she left for another job, our office manager was having trouble keeping up with our 401(k) payments. Now that she's gone, the problem is worse. Is there anything I can do to ensure more timely 401(k) payments by my company?



Several months ago, our office manager left to work for another firm. Prior to leaving, she was having trouble keeping up with our 401(k) payments. I inquired several times about missing funds in my 401(k) and, as a result, I was able to get payments submitted. But after she left, things got worse. I've raised the issue with the CEO several times, and I've been told the problem is being worked on. Is there anything I can do to ensure more timely 401(k) payments by my company?

That was a good idea to start by complaining to the chief executive officer, but it sounds like you need more leverage. Next time, tell him or her you know the law: Employers must get the money into your account within 15 business days after the end of the month of the contribution.

If your employer isn't doing this, contact the Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration. It's best to call (866) 444-3272 and explain your situation to a benefits adviser.

The agency will look into your complaint and might be able to fix the problem, with or without taking the case to court. In the end, you and other workers could win payments for lost earnings.

The agency has recovered more than $500 million in delinquent employee contributions.

For more information and resources, see the Employee Benefits Security Adminsitration's Consumer Retirement Plan Information.

Got a question? Ask Kim at askkim@kiplinger.com.



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