Each Wednesday 401kBasics posts a new article in a weekly series called “Keep the Course”. This series is designed to give the average consumer information on how to keep their 401k plan on track! Your feedback or suggestions on future articles is welcome.
Over the next few weeks, 401kBasics will feature some of the most commonly asked questions.
“In order to withdraw my money from an old 401(k) plan, the trustee is requiring that my old employer sign a form. I’ve been having trouble getting the employer to cooperate. What resources do I have?”
If your employer is uncooperative you can contact a division of the Department of Labor, called the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA).
U.S. Department of Labor
Division of Technical Assistance and Inquiries
200 Constitution Avenue N. W.
Washington, D.C. 20210
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Start with a letter addressed to the person identified as the Plan Administrator on the Form 5500 filed by the Plan. That person is a fiduciary to the Plan. The letter should outline previous actions taken to request action, including dates and specific contact names where possible. Continue by noting that it is the fiduciary responsibility of the Plan Administrator to respond in a timely manner to requests for withdrawal by a Plan participant. Provide a deadline (i.e., 2 weeks) to receive a response and gently indicate that if no response is received, you will “pursue other avenues” to get a response as necessary – as in contacting DOL/EBSA. Enclose a copy of your withdrawal request as well.
Hope this is helpful.
Vicki J. Zahand, ERPA
Vantage Retirement Services