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Employer refuses to set up 401k account

Discussion in 'Employee Benefits, Pensions' started by drew111111, Oct 29, 2019.

  1. drew111111

    drew111111 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hi,

    My wife accepted a job that offered a 401(k) plan with 50% contribution matching. She has been working for 3 months at the same job. Since day 1, she has been asking the HR department to set up her 401k account and reminding them at least 1x per week, and reminding them every day for the past 2 weeks.

    They still have not taken any action, and each day, they react by either pushing it off ("oh come back next week and we'll get you set up") or outright refusing to do it (saying, "Oh, you're young, you don't need a retirement plan").

    We have tried contacting the HR director--he doesn't want to deal with the issue and told us to "go through the normal channels".

    What course of action do I pursue next?

    Thanks!
     
  2. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    "We"? "I"?

    This is your wife's employer, not your employer, right?

    Your wife's only options are to wait or quit.
     
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  3. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    I suggest you stay our of this.
    It isn't your job or employer.
    You can advise your wife, but don't make contact with her employer, unless you ahppen t be attorney.

    This Texas lawyer answers your question and offers recommendations as how one might proceed if an employee believes she/he/it is suffering discrimination.

    Texas Employee Benefits Lawyers


    What you've described above appears to run afoul of various ERISA laws.

    You might need to suggest to your wife to consult a lawyer.

    I suggest your wife refrain from pestering her employer, until she has been advised by an attorney.

    The employer is on notice, all she might wish to do now is document all of her activities to date in order for the attorney to better advise her.
     
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  4. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    There is NO course of action for you to pursue. You should not be involved in contacting your wife's employer with employment concerns.
     
  5. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    That is, of course, assuming that there is an existing 401(k) plan in place at the employer in the first place.
     
  6. hrforme

    hrforme Active Member

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    your wife should, in writing, ask for a copy of the SPD (summary plan description FREE) and a copy of the plan document (but she might be charged for this). Either should have the eligibility features in it. She may or may not yet be eligible. Some plans have a waiting period and then specific entry dates. No one out here can tell you what her employer's plan states on this. There are some maximum eligibility periods, but i am suspecting she hasn't hit eligibility yet and that is why they are pushing her off.

    In the end, report back after she gets that SPD....and looks at the 'when am I eligible to participate?" section.
     
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  7. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    If you say so, boss.
     
  8. cynthiag

    cynthiag Active Member

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    Most 401(k) plans that I know of have a waiting period before a new hire becomes eligible to participate. In our case you must be employed for six months and can only sign up on the first of the month following your six-month anniversary.

    I've known of other plans that have just a couple of specific entry dates per year, for instance, January 1 and July 1, and if you are hired between those dates you have to wait until the next eligibility date to enroll.
     
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  9. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    My personal experience fits neatly within the information described above.

    My law firm only allows new hires to join our 401K plan at the beginning of the next financial quarter.

    My ranch follows the same framework.
     
  10. PayrollHRGuy

    PayrollHRGuy Well-Known Member

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    As does mine. But the HR department should be explaining that to the OP's wife if that is the case.
     
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  11. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    One would certainly think so.

    I'm guessing it has been explained, but fell on deaf ears.

    If someone wants to hear or do something, but that something can't done when the person desires it to be done, the person tends to stop listening.

    That's when the blaming and shaming starts.
     
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  12. cynthiag

    cynthiag Active Member

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    In all the years I've been the HR Manager for my company, I can't tell you the number of times I've explained things about benefits to employees, only to have them turn around and say that they were never told and then of course it's all our fault they aren't getting what they want right when they want it.

    It's kind of an occupational hazard for HR & benefits people.
     
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  13. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    I have had times when someone has come into my office complaining that they were never told about something, and I was able to reach into a file and hand them an explanation of the policy with their signature appended.
     
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