GE 401k rollover period is too long..what to do next?


N

nuklea

Recently GE, general electric, bought a company that we worked for and
they took over our 401k saving from cigna. They froze our account since
12/17/04, accordng to cigna's record. What peeve us is that our near
hundred thousand dollars of saving are locked up to this day and our
human resource and GE are mute about this. Every employee whom I know
are very upset about this unscrupulous act of GE. Our question is that,
what is a reasonable time for them to do conversion? should they pay us
interest on our money for this transition period? When is a good time
for us to escalate this to third party, like regulator, to look into
this. Do we have legal recourse if they deny to pay us interest while
holding our money (with Cigna we get about 4% for a fixed income fund)?
Your advice is appreciated.
 
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E

Elizabeth Richardson

When is a good time
for us to escalate this to third party, like regulator, to look into
this. Do we have legal recourse if they deny to pay us interest while
holding our money (with Cigna we get about 4% for a fixed income fund)?
Your advice is appreciated.
It is the regulators which require/allow this. This is a protection afforded
you while your assets are converted from one plan to another. The "freezing"
isn't that your assets are not earning anything, they continue to be
invested as they were on 12/17/04. When it is time for them to be
transferred into the new 401k, if there are changes in the investments, you
will be given ample opportunity to make your selections, if you do not want
what the plan deems automatic. I do not know anything about your particular
plan(s), but believe this is standard practice.

Elizabeth Richardson
 
L

Lurker at Large

Recently GE, general electric, bought a company that we worked for and
they took over our 401k saving from cigna. They froze our account since
12/17/04, accordng to cigna's record. What peeve us is that our near
hundred thousand dollars of saving are locked up to this day and our
human resource and GE are mute about this. Every employee whom I know
are very upset about this unscrupulous act of GE. Our question is that,
what is a reasonable time for them to do conversion? should they pay us
interest on our money for this transition period? When is a good time
for us to escalate this to third party, like regulator, to look into
this. Do we have legal recourse if they deny to pay us interest while
holding our money (with Cigna we get about 4% for a fixed income fund)?
Your advice is appreciated.
Hi Nuklea, the same thing's happened to my company! I was hired by Litton
during the period it was being purchased/acquired by Northrop Grumman. I
started participating in the Litton 401K program immediately upon hire, so I
didn't have too much money tied up in it. But about 6 months after I was
hired, they froze our Litton 401K's saying they needed to be auditted before
they could roll them into the Northrop Grumman plans.

That was over 4 years ago. We've had zero information about status of the
audits or why it's taking so long. It seems to me that none of my coworkers
are concerned. When I ask our HR people once a year they always say it's the
first they've heard of it (they were from another company, also acquired by NG
after we were acquired, so I don't hold it against them ..yet). That tells me
that I'm the only person asking about it.

This year I asked both our HR people and T. Rowe Price customer service since
that's the manager of the frozen accounts. They both said they're still frozen
and don't have any further information.

While I trust T. Rowe Price as a manager, and my company seems to not be
participating in any shady financials, there's been too many horror stories in
the news lately, so I think they should at least keep us better informed.

I can address one of your concerns at least: the accounts should still earn
interest/dividends. At least ours do. We're just not allowed to touch them or
roll them over into something else. Just be sure your fund managers always
have your current contact information (if you quit or move, etc) so that when
they finally DO unfreeze the funds, you'll know about it.

But I'm curious also what (if any) regulators we can contact about situations
like this. Personally, I just want better information. Right now all I can do
is ask T. Rowe Price and my HR dept about it once a year (and so far recieve
the same non-answer).

- Sharon
 
N

nuklea

Your story is scarry-er than mine. I would never going to wait year in
and year out with my saving frozen... be it with any biggest company in
the world. With Enron lesson, I would never trust any of those people
at the helm. If I were you I would do something instead of just asking
about it once a year. With modern financial transaction, every thing
should be done quickly. I am not going to tolerate any excuse that
prevent me to have control or access to my money. I am thinking of
giving them a month before I get outside help.
 
N

noreplysoccer

EDS bught my company, then sold us off and 401ks were frozen each time.
first time my assets were frozen for about 1-2 months and the comment
made that they were still invested was accurate in my case. When EDS
sold us off it appeared "seamless" as I don't think things were frozen
for more than a day. EDS and my current 401k are both thru Vanguard.
EDS changed the name of the funds, but the underlying prospectus of
each EDS fund was a Vanguard Fund with an additional expense... Now
it's just the Vanguard funds after the selloff.

BTW it is GREAT not to be EDS anymore for more reasons than just the
cheaper 401k...
 
N

nuklea

Elizabeth Richardson wrote:
....
I do not know anything about your particular
plan(s), but believe this is standard practice.

Elizabeth Richardson
I can not buy this as a standard practice. When I rolled over my 401k
six years ago to my new employer every thing went smoothly and happened
within a week. GE is a biggest company in the world with technology
know-hows and they even manage their own mutual funds so it is
impossible for them not to do thing quickly. I thought working for GE
will be good for us, with this experience I have a big doubt about
their practice. I just don't want my saving be a part of their shell
game.
 
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B

BMS

It is standard operating procedure, but contact the local office of the
Department of Labor and ask for the EBSA office, these are the people
responsible for benefit plans.
 

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