A: Don’t panic. Under some programs, the company doesn’t have to put in its matching contribution until September of the following year. “All of a sudden you think you are getting a matching contribution on your program, and where is it? Nine months later, your matching contribution for the prior year shows up on the statement,” says David Reiser, senior vice president of investment at Paine Webber in Providence, Rhode Island, and co-author of Wealth Building: Investment Strategies for Retirement and Estate Planning. “In some situations that happens, and in others, they match monthly.”
If you’re in doubt about whether your employer’s contribution is being credited to your account, contact the plan administrator immediately.
Q: WHAT IF I NOTICE INACCURACIES ON MY STATEMENT?
A: It pays to read your statements carefully. The transaction history section contains some of the most important information, such as an increase or decrease in the portfolio, dividends, market appreciation of your money, and of course, both employee and employer contributions.
“Employer contributions are a key thing. So, make sure they are really matching you,” says Martin Hurlburt, author of Money Can Make You Happy. If not, contact your com-pany’s 401(k) plan administrator ASAP. “You have 60 days to report inaccuracies, and if you don’t, it’s hard to correct it.”