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The Consequences of 401(k) Losses for Former Bed Bath & Beyond Employees

Workers may experience losses in their 401(k) if they invested a significant portion of their retirement savings in their employer’s stock or if the employer made matching contributions in company stock, according to Mr. Stein of the Pension Rights Center. Although employees usually have the option to diversify their investments outside of their company’s stock, they often fail to do so due to overconfidence in the stock resulting from familiarity with their employer.

Updating contact information with the retirement plan is crucial when a company is in turmoil, advises Anna-Marie Tabor, a visiting professor at the University of Massachusetts School of Law. Failure to receive updates may lead to unawareness of necessary actions. For those who leave their 401(k) with a previous employer after starting a new job, it is important to continuously update contact information. If there is a lack of communication from the retirement plan for an extended period, it is advisable to reach out for clarification.

If you encounter difficulties obtaining information about your retirement plan or suspect that contributions have not been appropriately deposited into your account, you can contact the Employee Benefits Security Administration, a division of the Department of Labor. They can be reached at askebsa.dol.gov or 1-866-444-3272. This is the recommended course of action for former Bed Bath & Beyond employees, as suggested by the Labor Department.

Engaging legal assistance can be costly, especially if the disputed amount is small. However, organizations like the Pension Rights Center and the Pension Action Center may offer free legal advice or provide referrals for individuals with concerns regarding access to their retirement plans.

If you do not already possess one, you can request a copy of the summary plan description from your company. This document, as advised by Maria C. O’Brien, a professor at Boston University School of Law, contains pertinent information about your retirement plan, including vesting schedules and contact details. Alternatively, you can contact the Department of Labor, which may possess copies of the document.

It is also essential for employees to read the prospectus or disclosure for any investment options they intend to utilize, according to Ms. Costa. However, she highlights that even if individuals request these documents, they are not exactly light reading. The use of terms like “guaranteed” in an investment’s name implies minimal risk, but these guarantees are subject to conditions, such as specific holding periods.

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