Ways to Spot 401(k) Mismanagement

Posted February 8th, 2016 by .

Categories: 401(k).

A 401(k) plan is essential for any American employee who wants to save for his/her retirement. However, chances are you just take a quick look at your balance every month to make sure things are moving forward. But without looking at your statement thoroughly, how would you know if your retirement plan is being misused or mismanaged?

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), more than 1,326 cases of 401(k) mismanagement were discovered in 2007. The mismanaged accounts resulted in more than $51 million in penalties and restitution. Although it may be difficult to find a smoking gun when it comes to mismanagement, there are warning signs that help you discover if your contributions are being misused. These signs include:

  • Your investments are losing money
  • The plan’s investment options have not changed in a number of years
  • The plan’s mutual fund options are being managed by your employer
  • Your plan appears to have high fees
  • Your employer fails to transmit your contribution in a timely manner
  • Former employees are not getting benefits paid correctly or on time
  • Unusual transactions

If you feel that your 401(k) plan is being mismanaged, there is help. Contact the financial services litigation attorneys at Sanford Heisler, LLP today for an evaluation of your case.

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Charles Field

Charles Field

Charles H. Field is counsel in the San Diego office of Sanford Heisler, LLP, a national law firm with offices in New York, Washington, DC, San Francisco, and San Diego. He received his J.D. from McGeorge Law School in 1986 and his Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts from Indiana University-Indianapolis in 1977. Mr. Field also completed European legal studies at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Salzburg.


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