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401(a) and ERISA?


Guest lndsydms
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Guest lndsydms

Hello All,

I am having trouble accessing my 401(a) pension account from a company I left in 2005. I have called the company, but they say there is no provision for access to the account until age 59.5 and that they did not need to comply to ERISA since they are a Church Plan. This is different than what they told me a few years back when I was planning to roll the funds over into my current pension plan and I have a booklet they sent me back then seems to also provide for withdrawl or rollover upon separation from service, provisional upon payment of a 10% tax penalty. I called the company twice and spoke with two different people. One of them even said that since the account was entirely company funded, that it was their money until I retired. In the "Plan Details" section of my account online, the SPD is missing. When I asked the woman about this, she said that it used to be posted there but it wasn't anymore and she didn't know why. When I asked if I could get a copy emailed to me, she said it was only available to be sent to me by postal mail for $40.00. This whole thing seems really shady to me and I am wondering if I need to hire an Attorney? Anyone have any knowledge on this?

Many Thanks :)

Lindsay

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Although most defined contribution plans, including 401(k) plans, are designed to allow distributions after termination of employment, they can be designed to hold the funds until retirement age. Age 59 1/2 is a common age for access among such uncommon designs. The amounts held under the plan are not the "company's" funds.

A church plan is not subject to ERISA requirements unless it elects to be covered. SPDs are among ERISA requirements.

None of this post is a comment on your circumstances.

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If there ever was an SPD it sounds like the plan was at one time covered under ERISA. That is an irrevocoble commitment. They can't decide to not be covered under ERISA any more. Or did they do an SPD out of the goodness of heir hearts?

QKA, QPA, CPC, ERPA

Two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights make a left.

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