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Carla McKain’s Answers

60 total


  • Must I provide health information on myself and my family to my employer.

    They state this is for the health insurance plan, of which I do not use, We are covered under my spouse's employer. My employer wants medical history for 10 years as well as current medications for entire family. Do I have to do this.

    Carla’s Answer

    Your employer needs to provide (in writing) the reason he needs this. Sounds very strange to me. Employers generally shouldn't be handling your medical information even (maybe especially) related to health insurance coverage. Do not provide it until they provide a basis (in writing). Keep a log of what they say to you and what you say back, too, and write it down right after they say it.

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  • When a 401k and Ira are joined can the monies be withdrawn?

    pensions have been requested to be joined for bifurcation which is good,but can the monies be withdrawn. my husband has not paid spousal support in 7 months and I have been told the court will not hear any financial matters until trial which will...

    Carla’s Answer

    You can use a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) to obtain 401(k) funds from your spouse for support prior to divorce. I do not know about the bifurcation issue however.

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  • 401k and pension

    I am also wondering what typically happens with my 401k and pension through divorce? And still wonder if I am allowed to touch my 401k to purchase a car?

    Carla’s Answer

    If you do divide your 401(k) in a divorce, it must be done using a QDRO (qualified domestic relations order) and approved by the plan administrator. The money to the ex-spouse is distributed and may be rolled over into another qualified plan without penalty. Whoever you use for the divorce will know what a QDRO is, but make sure they understand how to draft one correctly.

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  • I was denied for short term disability because my company said they talked to my doctor and i could come back with accomidations

    I was approved for FMLA due to Carpel Tunnel Syndrome and my 2 Dr.'s wrote my company letters stating that I can not use my hands. The exact sentence " emplyee can not use hands at all" . When I filed for my STD they wanted to speak with my Dr.'s ...

    Carla’s Answer

    You need to appeal the denial, but get a lawyer to do so because whatever records you get into the appeal is what you can use later if you have to sue. The attorney can get a better written statement from your doctor clarifying the restrictions and the disability. You need at least one doctor supporting disability from work. If you wont' go to a lawyer, get a copy of your policy or SPD to see what the terms of the benefits are.

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  • If my Short Term Disability was approved by Unum can my company block payments as they fired me 4 days laters?

    On Monday, I was pulled into the managers office and was threatened that due to some errors I may be terminated or best case scenario on a final written warning but would be informed within 24 hours or so then sent back to work for the remainder o...

    Carla’s Answer

    Sounds like it could be a violation of section 510 of ERISA, which prohibits discrimination for exercising your rights to benefits. I can't tell if you were disabled prior to this incident or because of it. If they fired you because you started receiving STD, that's a violation of ERISA.

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  • How long can my former employer hold onto my 401(k)? What rights do I have?

    I terminated employment with my employer 18 months ago. I am having trouble getting them to distribute my 401(k) plan balance to a rollover. The Summary Plan Description states the following: You may elect to have your vested account balance di...

    Carla’s Answer

    They have to roll over your balance if that's what you want to do. Did you request the forms to do so? This might be done without any action on the part of your employer, but directly through the investment company, if that is where your funds are. Have you asked in writing? I think a letter from an attorney on letterhead would get you some action. I suggest an attorney that practices in the area of ERISA. let me know if I can help.

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  • Can spouse still receive pension and 401K benefits if on request to enter default paperwork there are no issues to resolve?

    I have a 401K and a pension. She has a 401K. We both agreed that I would keep my 401K and pension and she would keep her 401K. Neither party is seeking child or spousal support. Neither party wants money, property, or other costs from the other. ...

    Carla’s Answer

    For the 401(k) plans, once you are no longer married, there should not be an issue unless you die. In that case such plans may be distributed based on who you named as beneficiaries. YOu should review the summary plan description and/or plan document for plan requirements in your situation, and then make sure you both change your beneficiary forms, unless you want to leave the money to each other. For "pension plans," those are a bit different. A "joint & survivor annuity" would come into play if you are married, but once divorces the right to that benefit would die. On the other hand, you should still make sure that you understand the plan and make any adjustments through the administrator if needed per your plan's requirements. Consult an ERISA attorney if you need help.

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  • How do i get employment history from my old employer they mailed papers to me to see if i want my pension in a one time payment

    my figures donot match what they said i worked there they are way off

    Carla’s Answer

    Request a copy of the "plan document" and the "summary plan description" -- these will tell you how your retirement savings and/or pension are calculated. When you say "pension" I assume you mean a defined benefit plan, which is based on years of service and salary, typically. Carefully review the options for payment to determine if a lump sum is the best way to go. You may need an attorney who specialized in ERISA.

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  • My son is divorciing his wife of 7 years. Is she entitled to any of his 401K which has grown during their marriage to $80,000.

    They have a 7 year old daughter and she has never work during their marriage. I heard that the magic number of years is 10. Is that true

    Carla’s Answer

    I don't see why the number of years married would determine ENTITLEMENT. The number of years would determine the AMOUNT but not whether she was entitled. The division of a 401(k) plan must be done pursuant to a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) however, so find an attorney who truly understands how to draft those to protect the alternate payee (the wife in this case).

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  • As a part-time employee, can my employer require that I work full-time without receiving any full-time benefits?

    I have been employed with the company I am currently working for, a little over 2 years. I started out with a temp to perm staffing agency, but became employed with the company full-time in May of 2011. After caring for my sick mother for over 2 y...

    Carla’s Answer

    I'm not sure exactly what's going on here, but if you are full-time and FT employees get benefits, then you get them too. They cannot treat employees in the same class differently for benefits, though they can treat different classes of employees differently when it comes to benefits. In other words, if all secretaries who are FT get benefits, then they cannot single out one secretary to not get benefits. If you meet the criteria to be eligible you are in. Request the plan document or "SPD" and see whether you are eligible. If they are "picking and choosing" individuals in the same class who get or do not get benefits, that is a violation of ERISA.

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