Runaround closing my 401k account
December 24, 2004 4:20 PM   Subscribe

In California, upon leaving a job, an employer has under most circumstances at most 72 hours to pay the leaving employee their final paycheck or the employer gets fined.

Are there any similar laws which require investment/financial institutions to give the investor their funds within a certain amount of time of the request? (MI)

I have a 401k with Prudential from an employer I left four years ago. I never rolled the account over to my IRA because the money was doing just fine where it was and I'm sort of lazy about such things. Now I want that money, in cash. (Never mind the penalties - I don't pay taxes so there's not much disincentive to taking the money right now.) I first requested the funds be sent to me in November and I still don't have them and I've spent over half an hour on the phone with Prudential every day since last week. They say they can only give me my funds with a check and that a EFT or transfer is not possible. Since last Friday it's been nothing but stopped checks, checks getting sent to wrong addresses, me being lied to, me being giving invalid UPS tracking numbers, and other shenanigans that have generally dampened my christmas spirit - everything except a check ending up in my hand.... What legal recourse do I have? Bonus points for something bad happening to them, like fines or eternal damnation.
posted by cactus to Work & Money (2 answers total)
I'm not sure if this will help, but here's a similar question (and a partial answer) on

I'm also not sure that I understand your comment about not paying taxes so not being worried about the penalities - you're going to pay a 10% penalty regardless of your tax situation.

The Taxmama article recommends getting a copy of your retirement plan document, to see what it says about a disbursment time limit. Another reason to get this is that Fidelity has been known to charge significant "service charges and redemption fees."
posted by WestCoaster at 5:49 PM on December 24, 2004

I work in Retirement, and 401(k) plans can be a complete pain in the tail. We had this one guy whose transfer took six months. Seriously.

1) If you are trying to put it in an IRA, the bank involved can't do very much about it.
2) If you are trying to send it to an IRA now, you may not have a penalty. Here is a good BankRate article that explains most of what's going on.
3) Make sure you have filed not only paperwork with your bank (assuming you're going to an IRA) but that you've also done all of their paperwork.
4) If all else fails, start using registered mail, and send it not only to them but also to their governing body.
posted by Medieval Maven at 4:34 PM on December 25, 2004

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