October 6, 1998 |
If you haven't received your quarterly 401(k) plan statement yet, you will. Soon. And you probably won't like what you see. For the first time, possibly since you began investing in your company-sponsored retirement plan, you'll notice that most of your stock funds have lost money--both over the last three months and on a year-to-date basis. And those nice, fat 20%-plus annual return figures many of you have grown accustomed to over longer periods have most likely disappeared.
July 15, 1989 |
QUESTION: I plan to buy a home in five years. In the meantime, should I avoid putting any money into an individual retirement account or 401(k) plan? I know many friends who have had to pay hefty early withdrawal penalties when they have used proceeds from these accounts for the down payments on their homes.--J. S. ANSWER: Your best course of action depends greatly on your individual circumstances, the details of which you neglected to include.
February 20, 1994 |
Q. I recently got a new job. My previous employer offered a 401(k) plan; my new employer does not. What should I do with the money from my old 401(k) plan when the funds are disbursed? Is there anything I can do to defer paying taxes on the money? --A.W . A. To avoid immediate taxation, you should transfer the proceeds in your old employer's 401(k) plan to a tax-deferred individual retirement account. Those proceeds and the accumulated interest will be taxable when you withdraw them.
December 10, 2000 |
Q: When I signed up for a 401(k), my employer said I must designate a beneficiary, so I just put down my wife's name, even though we had never actually lived together and I wasn't sure then whether we ever would. Now I no longer work at the company and have requested a withdrawal of my funds. My request was rejected because it required spousal consent and her signature. The trouble is I don't even know her whereabouts. My landlady can attest that my wife has never lived with me.
November 11, 2001 |
Some companies are cutting back on one of American workers' prized benefits: matching contributions to their 401(k) retirement savings plans. DaimlerChrysler's U.S. unit, the Wyndham International Inc. hotel chain and Bethlehem Steel Corp. are among a smattering of financially stressed companies across a range of industries that have suspended their matches to conserve cash in recent months as the U.S. economic downturn has deepened.
July 21, 1996
Pension funds may have more money than 401(k) plans, but this situation won't last long. Gross annual inflows into 401(k)s topped $65 billion in 1995, according to Access Research, a consultant for the industry. By 2000, the firm says, more money in retirement plans will be in 401(k) funds--an estimated $1.5 trillion--than in the old-style paternalistic defined benefit plans.