My employer was forced to change it's 401k and plan management co. as the result of a union contract. As a result, we are not able to make any changes, add monies, take loans, take distributions, (unless we separate from the co. or we are at least 59.5 years old), or roll the old 401k into the new. It seems they have locked our accounts up while they are still charging ridiculous fees.
You don't say whether this is a temporary or permanent situation but it seems like something you would discuss with your union officials. There may not be anything they can do about it right now but they are the ones you need to speak with.
401(k) plans have grown in popularity over the past decades and most people are aware of how the plan can put investment decisions in the hands of an individual participant. Unfortunately, participants are not always aware of the restrictions that can come-up for plan participants. While it is difficult to provide a definitive answer without knowing all the details, it is possible that under the terms of the plan that withdraws and transfers from a 401(k) can be put on hold. Not only can such restriction be inconvenient, they can have a devastating impact – especially upon workers who are laid off and find their savings inaccessible. Whatever the reason for the freeze, the general guideline is that participants should be able to get access to their share of the plan’s assets “as soon as administratively feasible”, which certainly is not a standard set in stone. I would continue to have discussions with the union or others overseeing the plan. Candidly, however, it is possible that the underlying reason for the freeze is making it so nobody will know at this time when the freeze will be lifted. Best of luck.
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