Friday, July 25, 2008
Cash In While You Can
Here's some useful info from a former Sentinel about how you can use the retirement plan to stay afloat:
Those who leave the paper can call the Hewitt Retirement Center (thru Benefits Express) and cash out the little account the company set up at the beginning of this year. It amounts to 2% of 2007 earnings, but a surprising amount of compound interest has piled up since the first of the year. (These accounts were created at the beginning of '08 after the company stiffed us on the "promised" 3% minimum contribution Trib was to have made to our 401(k)s at the beginning of the year to help fund the Zell takeover.)
People must wait a month after they receive their last Sentinel pay, then can call Hewitt and ask to get the ball rolling to have a check sent. There is some paperwork, and they mail checks on the 1st and 15th of every month. I think there is required tax withholding, which is not such a bad thing since at tax time next spring, we'll owe a 10% penalty for withdrawing what amounts to retirement money before age 59 1/2.
Or, people can roll it over into an IRA and skip the penalty. But for most of us without jobs, the cash is useful!