Some employees are given a 401(k) retirement plan as part of their compensation package. Employees are usually asked to commit a percentage of their paychecks each pay period to this account. When this process works as normal, the employer might offer to match it, and the money will be put away for the employee to live off of when they retire. However, there are signs that your employer might be mishandling your 401(k) funds.
What to do if you believe that your 401(k) funds are misused
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA, is meant to protect the interests of employee benefit plan recipients. The mishandling of employee benefits or compensation goes against this federal act.
The U.S. Department of Labor has given a few guidelines that can help an employee recognize if something is wrong with their 401(k). Employees should keep an eye out and try to notice if:
- Account statements are consistently late or come in irregularly.
- The account balance doesn’t match what you’ve calculated.
- Your employer is depositing contributions late.
- There is a significant drop in the account balance.
- The account statements stay the same even after contributions were made.
- The investments on the 401(k) don’t match what you’ve agreed to.
What are other signs?
There could be other signs within your company that something is seriously wrong. If another employee is complaining about their 401(k) not making sense or having late payments, look into your account as well. You should also be wary if your employer has made a lot of changes to their consultants or if the company is under financial stress.
If any of this sounds familiar, you might want to reach out to a lawyer. A legal professional may help you understand your rights and legal options.