A:

Your employer or the plan administrator for the 401(k) plan should have provided you with a copy of the 401(k) plan's summary plan description (SPD). If you can't find your copy, contact your employer and ask for a replacement copy. A copy of the plan's SPD may also be obtained from the Department of Labor (DOL) by writing to: The Department of Labor, EBSA, Public Disclosure Room, Room N-1513, <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 /?>

200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C.20210

. (They may charge you copying fees, which are usually a very small amount.)

The SPD is required to include an explanation - in non-technical terms - of the plan provisions, such as your benefits and rights under the plan, including when you are eligible to receive distributions.

Alternatively, you may ask your employer to provide an explanation for refusing to honor your request; in fact, you must be given an explanation in writing. Legitimate explanations for a delay in distributions include the following:

  • You are not yet eligible to receive distributions from the plan. For instance, the plan may require that participants reach a certain age before they are considered eligible to receive a distribution. This age requirement can apply even if you are no longer employed with the company.
  • The plan may make payments only at a certain frequency, such as quarterly. Therefore, if you requested a distribution in mid-January, you may need to wait until March 31 before you receive the requested amount.

If you feel your employer is not complying with the terms of the plan, you may contact the DOL toll free at 1-866-444- 3272 and ask to speak with a regional office representative near you, or you may contact your regional office - see http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/aboutebsa/org_chart.html#section13 for a list of regional offices and their contact information.

This question was answered by Denise Appleby
(Contact Denise)

RELATED FAQS
  1. Can my IRA be used for college tuition?

    You can use your IRA to pay for college tuition even before you reach retirement age. In fact, your retirement savings can ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Why are IRA, Roth IRAs and 401(k) contributions limited?

    Contributions to IRA, Roth IRA, 401(k) and other retirement savings plans are limited by the IRS to prevent the very wealthy ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How do you calculate penalties on an IRA or Roth IRA early withdrawal?

    With a few exceptions, early withdrawals from traditional or Roth IRAs generally incur a tax penalty equal to 10% of the ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What are the best ways to use your 401(k) without a penalty?

    The best way to use your 401(k) retirement savings account is to take normal distributions after you reach retirement age. ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Is my IRA protected in a bankruptcy?

    All types of individual retirement accounts, or IRAs, recognized under the federal tax code enjoy substantial protection ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Can I take my 401(k) in a lump sum?

    Establishing a retirement savings plan during your working years is a necessary part of comprehensive financial planning. ... Read Full Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    Five Things to Consider Now for Your 401(k)

    If you can’t stand still, when it comes to checking your 401 (k) balance, focus on these 5 steps to help channel your worries in a more productive manner.
  2. Retirement

    Strategies for a Worry-Free Retirement

    Worried about retirement? Here are several strategies to greatly reduce the chance your nest egg will end up depleted.
  3. Professionals

    Your 401(k): How to Handle Market Volatility

    An in-depth look at how manage to 401(k) assets during times of market volatility.
  4. Professionals

    How to Build a Financial Plan for Gen X, Y Clients

    Retirement is creeping closer for clients in their 30s and 40s. It's a great segment for financial advisors to tap to build long-term client relationships.
  5. Professionals

    Don't Let Your Portfolio Be Trump'd by Illiquidity

    A look at Donald Trump's statement of finances and the biggest lesson every investor can learn.
  6. Professionals

    What to do During a Market Correction

    The market has corrected...now what? Here's what you should consider rather than panicking.
  7. Retirement

    Maxing Out Your 401(k) Is Profitable: Here's Why

    It's shocking, but most American workers (73%) have no 401(k) retirement funds. Start saving now to anchor your retirement.
  8. Professionals

    Top Questions to Ask When Choosing a Robo-Advisor

    Think a robo-advisor might be the right choice for you? Be sure to ask these questions first.
  9. Professionals

    Top Retirement Hack? Start with a Lifestyle Change

    Instead of going through the usual retirement planning steps, some people are focusing on fostering a lower cost lifestyle from the start.
  10. Forex Education

    A Day In The Life of A Professional Forex Trader

    The professional forex trader lives an affluent lifestyle but pays the price with many hours of research and market watching.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Qualified Longevity Annuity Contract

    A Qualified Longevity Annuity Contract (QLAC) is a deferred annuity ...
  2. Backdoor Roth IRA

    A method that taxpayers can use to place retirement savings in ...
  3. Current Service Benefit

    The amount of pension benefit accrued by an employee who had ...
  4. Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP)

    A tax-efficient retirement savings account available in Great ...
  5. Elder Care

    Elder care, sometimes called elderly care, refers to services ...
  6. Eligible Transfer

    An IRS-allowed movement of assets into or out of an individual ...

You May Also Like

Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!