The Declines of 401(k) Matching and Mr. Ponzi

March 12, 2009 by  
Filed under Retirement Planning

I will be posting something tonight or tomorrow about yesterday’s volunteer tax preparer experiences.  One client visit was probably once-in-a-lifetime (for me) unique so I want to take a little more time to think and write about it.

Meanwhile, I learned this morning of yet more employers eliminating their 401(k) matching contributions.  For any readers who might be facing that, let me first say that I am sorry.  Second, I put down some thoughts I had about that issue last December over on my Go To Retirement blog.  If you want to read it, the article is What if Your Employer Stops Matching 401(k) Contributions?

I also heard on the news that Bernie Madoff will be entering a guilty plea sometime today.  This may be very interesting stuff.  When you enter a guilty plea in a U.S. District Court, the accused is required to “allocute” which is a legal term for “explaining what I did.”  Madoff will have to state in open court all of the facts necessary to establish that he indeed commit a crime and that he knows what he is pleading guilty to.  I hope the Judge pushes him hard on the details of the allocution.  It is not often that we get to here about a Ponzi scheme of this magnitude straight from the Ponzi-master himself.  If you can find a transcript of the allocution online, let me know because I want to read it.

UPDATE:  Here is a copy of Madoff’s allocution statement that he read in Court today.

Please check back later if you want to read about yesterday’s experiences at the Tax-Aide office.

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4 Responses to “The Declines of 401(k) Matching and Mr. Ponzi”
  1. SJ says:

    Read and learn some tips when we all decide to run our own ;-)?

    If you do find one, do please link to it =)!

  2. BB says:

    I was berated by the 401k plan administrator when I stopped my contribution after learning our small-not for profit hospital would no longer be contributing to our plan. He kept me on the phone for 45 minutes grilling me on why my choice was such a poor one. I think my choice was the right one. I can do better on my own!

  3. Kacie says:

    My husband’s roth 401k match ended this month. Poop. It was a 100% match on contributions equal to 6% of his salary. Since we’re trying to get out of debt, we’re only contributing 9%.

    We’ll raise our contributions soon, probably by opening a roth IRA.

    His losing the match is probably a good thing. Once we increase our retirement savings, I doubt we’d ever decrease it unless we’re facing some bizarre hardship.

    So, in the future if a match is reinstated, we’ll have even more money going toward retirement.

  4. kitty says:

    I doubt my corporation will change 401K contribution soon, but who knows. So far it’s been mostly small companies that stopped the match not large corporations. GM is one exception but they are in real trouble. I’d imagine if our competitors do it, then it’s a possibility, but so far most tech companies still have the match.

    I think I’d still contribute even without the match. I am turning 50 this year and approx 20K reduction in my gross income is very helpful at tax time. It may even bring my income low enough that I’d be able to contribute something to Roth as well, especially with lower interest and dividend income, and not that much chance for capital gains. As usual I have to wait till I do my taxes early next year to determine this.

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