Enrollment Dates for 401 (k) Benefit Are November 25 through December 13

Hotel Voice — November 25, 2019

The Union’s popular 401 (k) benefit has only two enrolment periods each year, and one of them is rapidly approaching. For this reason it would be a good idea to review why this benefit has so many members participating —13,722 to be exact!

As we have reported often in the past, a 401 (k) account is one of the very few investment tax shelters available to working families. As we have also reported often, almost all financial advisors consider a 401 (k) account it to be one of the smartest investments workers can make. These important facts should be especially considered now, because the next enrollment date for the Union’s 401 (k) plan benefit takes place between Monday, November 25 and Friday, December 13.

There is lots of information available to help members decide if they would like to participate in the 401 (k) plan. To assist those who are considering enrolling in the program, the Benefit Funds Office will be conducting meetings in the Union’s auditorium and in many of the hotels. At these meetings members can learn more about this excellent benefit, receive enrollment forms, and submit enrollment forms. The meetings that are scheduled for the Gertrude Lane Auditorium (305 West 44th Street) will take place on Thursday, December 5, from 7:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., Friday, December 6, from 7:30 a.m. until 7:00 p.m., Thursday, December 12, from 7:30 a.m. through 5:00 p.m., and Friday, December 13, from 7:30 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. Members may come to the auditorium anytime between the listed hours on those dates. We should add that there will be bilingual persons conducting the meetings. Members from any eligible shop can also come to the Funds Office at 305 West 44th Street, second floor, any weekday between November 25 and December 13 to enroll for the January 1, 2020 start date.

Why are 401 (k) accounts such good investments for workers? Well, for starters, they are one of the few tax shelters available to middle and low income workers. That’s because contributions to 401 (k) accounts are not subject to any federal or state income taxes. Contributions from participating members are deducted from paychecks (without taxes taken out) and directly deposited. For many workers, that income would be subjected to up to 33% combined federal and state income tax. But it is tax free when deposited in a 401 (k) account,

That’s not all. The money in 401 (k) accounts is allowed to grow without being taxed! Money in 401 (k) accounts is only taxed when it is withdrawn.

All of these facts help explain why the 401 (k) plan is an excellent way for workers to supplement their retirement income. Especially with Social Security under attack from Republicans, there is little doubt that the 401 (k) benefit is a wise choice for workers who want a comfortable and secure retirement. There is a wide variety of choices available to members in determining how their 401 (k) account money is invested, some with less risk than others, and there are even investments that are not related at all to the stock market.

You can learn information like this by attending one of the enrollment meetings in your hotel or those scheduled for the Union’s auditorium on the dates listed above. If you attend one of these meetings, you will also be given descriptions on the various funds available to invest in through the program, including a thorough explanation of risks and returns.

We would also like to remind members that to enroll in the 401 (k) benefit you must have all your beneficiary information readily available to complete the forms of enrollment. No enrollments can be accepted without information like your beneficiaries’ names, addresses, Social Security Numbers and dates of birth. Married members must have their spouses sign and notarize the beneficiary designation form if the money in their 401(k) plan is to be left to someone other than their spouses or even if any portion of the money is to be left to someone else. Obviously, the purpose of this is to ensure that any money in your 401(k) account is left to the person(s) you designate in the event of your death.

There are some other important things you should know about the 401 k) program. For example, if you change employment you are usually permitted to roll over your 401(k) account to an IRA (individual retirement account) or to your new employer’s 401 (k) plan. In either case, you will not suffer a tax penalty. And, yes, just like our union’s pension benefit, the 401 (k) plan is portable. That means that if you change employment from one Hotel Trades Council shop to another you will be able to continue your 401 (k) plan without penalty.

You should also know that since 401 (k) plans are tax shelters designed to help fund your retirement, there are usually tax consequences if you withdraw your money earlier than age 59½. Moreover, money withdrawn before age 55 will usually result in a 10% tax penalty. There are some exceptions to these rules..

There is one final note that we think is important: there is no investment that has the income tax savings that a 401 (k) plan can provide, and that’s why we urge members to consider participating.

If you would like to enroll in the 401(k) benefit in time for the next start date (January 1, 2020), please remember that you must do so between November 25 and December 13. If you would like to learn more about this benefit or enroll in the program, you can do so by visiting the union’s auditorium (305 West 44th Street, mezzanine level) for any of the meetings listed above.

As of the beginning of this month, there were 13,722 members of our union participating in the 401 (k) program with over $589 million invested. Your opportunity to join these members in saving for a secure retirement takes place during the 401 (k) enrollment period from November 25 until December 13. If you have any questions about the 401 (k) plan you can call the Funds Office’s Retirement Services Department at 212-586-6400 ext. 4125.

Do You Want to Learn More about the 401 (k) Benefit?

A 401 (k) account is by far the best tax break available to working men and women. Would you like to learn more about this benefit? There are four meetings scheduled in December where members can have their questions answered, learn everything they need to know about the program and even enroll in it. The meetings are scheduled for the Gertrude Lane Auditorium (305 West 44th Street) on Thursday, December 5, from 7:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., Friday, December 6, from 7:30 a.m. until 7:00 p.m., Thursday, December 12, from 7:30 a.m. through 5:00 p.m., and Friday, December 13, from 7:30 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. You may come to the auditorium anytime between the listed hours on those dates. There will be bilingual persons conducting these meetings. More than 13,000 members of our union have 401 (k) accounts to ensure a comfortable, secure retirement. These meetings are an excellent opportunity to join them in this excellent benefit.