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Tracking your retirement contributions

It's rare, but occasionally the government discovers employers who are abusing employee contributions by either using the money for corporate purposes or holding on to the money too long. Here are 10 warning signs that your pension contributions are being misused.

1. Your 401(k) or individual account statement is consistently late or comes at irregular intervals.

2. Your account balance does not appear to be accurate.

3. Your employer failed to transmit your contribution to the plan on a timely basis.

4. A significant drop in account balance that cannot be explained by normal market ups and downs.

5. 401(k) or individual account statement shows your contribution from your paycheck was not made.

6. Investments listed on your statement are not what you authorized.

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7. Former employees are having trouble getting their benefits paid on time or in the correct amounts.

8. Unusual transactions, such as a loan to the employer, a corporate officer or one of the plan trustees.

9. Frequent and unexplained changes in investment managers or consultants.

10. Your employer has experienced severe financial difficulty.

-- Posted: Jan. 29, 2002

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See Also
Frequently asked questions about 401(k)s
Retiring early on a 401(k) or IRA without penalty
More savings stories

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