By Bill Broich Every night on the nightly news it seems there is bad news about retirement plans especially 401(k)s. The US Department of Labor has established new rules about the fees, disclosures and management of these very popular retirement products. More rules are expected in May of 2016 which will outline the role of Read more >>
I just couldn’t keep my big mouth closed and gave Harry and Sally the report on their 401 (k) annual expenses being charged to manage their funds. These expenses were in addition to the $50 per year administration fees and were tied to the actual account value of the funds in the 401 (k).
There are rules which can be followed to allow pre-mature access to your 401(k) account. A 401(k) was created by congress to allow workers to accumulate funds for retirement on a pre-tax basis. Eventually he taxes will need to be paid on your 401(k) retirement plan. Accessing the funds should be done with planning and with the goal of using them for retirement income. Life being full of uncertainty, the funds in your 401(k) can be assessed for other reasons; with that access can come unwanted or excessive taxation and penalty. Make sure you fully understand your options before taking action.
Most 401 (k)s offer investment options such as mutual funds. Investment options in the mutual funds can be stocks or bonds or a combination of both. As we age, providing a layer of safety and security to our 401 (k) seems only prudent. As an option, your 401 (k) will also offer a stable money investment option. These options could include a money market account. The problem with money market accounts is the yield, a yield which may not keep up with inflation.
All 401(k) providers impose fees on top of fund expenses, and smaller companies are the ones who are charged the most. “The fact is, the financial-services industry isn’t donating its services and doing all this work,” says David Wray, president of the Profit Sharing/ 401(k) Council of America.
You aren’t happy with your current retirement savings plan, and you’re not alone. Many employees report some level of dissatisfaction with their company’s retirement plan, which is why it behooves you to know that you do have other options available. Your retirement plan is your security for the future, and as such, you should never feel like you have to settle.
As with all things, no one will know that you are unhappy unless you say something. While this may sound like an impossibly daunting task, tactfully voicing your complaints and concerns might just make you realize that you are not the only one who has them.
ETF’s (Exchange Traded Funds) are quickly becoming the next big thing in investments and are, just as quickly, appearing in more and more retirement plans. Several New York based investment firms are beginning to offer 401k plans solely based on ETFs, and more firms and companies are certain to follow.
There may come a time when you open your 401(k) statement and realize that your 401(k) is not doing as well as you thought it was. The reasons may vary (examples are high fees, poor investment performance, inconsistent funding, etc.), but given that your 401(k) may eventually become one of your greatest financial assets, you may want to take note of the following methods to increase your 401(k)’s value.
The definition of a lump sum distribution can vary by company, and from person-to-person. This article, for simplicity’s sake, is written under the assumption that you are receiving (or will soon receive) a lump sum distribution of your 401k or other retirement accounts as defined under current tax law.