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Author: Hawkwin Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 75777  
Subject: Re: Exiting 401K..now what? Date: 1/4/2013 3:26 PM
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Now that said, I just looked at her paperwork and see it is a "Safe Harbor" profit sharing account.

Then it really is nothing like a 401k beyond it being tax deferred.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Profit_sharing

It is likely a private company (non-traded, non-public stock) so if she does contribute her own money (e.g. a combined plan), it goes to buy stock in the company. I assume the 80/20 comment means that 80% of the money she contributes buys stock and the other 20% goes to something more conservative like a bond fund.

If the above is true, then viewing the account online would be rather pointless since the value of the plan would be based solely on the value the auditors assign the private stock - which typically occurs about once a year.

Such plans can be very lucrative but of course, they can also be very risky due to lack of liquidity. She should look into whether or not she has options to liquidate while still employed. She should be able to request a plan document that gives her all the rules and restrictions of the plan. I would certainly do that before I made a knee jerk decision to opt out.

The fact that the company has not made any contributions to the plan in recent years should also encourage her to request the plan document to know her options - both while employed and if separated. Some of those plans have limited liquidity even after termination of employment. I know of one locally that will not pay you any money for five years after termination.
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