This Mustachian Problem isn't quite "Just for fun" for me... in fact, it makes me a bit angry.
I've been at the same employer for nearly 12 years. Two years ago, it was acquired by a different company.
In the past, before the acquisition, and up through calendar year 2014), I would front-load my 401k. The company would still continue to put in the "match" on the rest of my paychecks for the rest of the year (avoiding the need for an end-of-the-year true-up).
For all of 2015 and for part of 2016, I front-loaded the 401k and had it filled by the end of April. The paystubs and Fidelity's website both reflected the continued "match" contributions.
I noticed some weird transactions on the Fidelity 401k website recently, so I began asking some questions of the benefits people.
I was basically told that:
- They have a lot of accounting irregularities with the 401k and are trying to do what they can to keep it in compliance.
- For year 2015, there was not supposed to be a true-up. Apparently with the merger, this "feature" was taken away (but without properly communicating this to the employees.) All of the "matched" contributions that happened throughout year 2015 after I had finished front-loading, are slated to be removed from my 401k account at some point.
- For year 2016 I had already finished front-loading back in March or April. I think the person I spoke with told me that they re-instated the true-up for 2016, but it is supposed to happen at the end of the calendar year, not gradually throughout the year. The matched amounts I've already received this year (after the front-loading was complete) will be removed from my 401k account at some point..... and I will presumably be given the true-up at the end of the year. (I did ask if the true-up would happen if I was separated from the company before the end of the year, and they told me "no" it would not true-up if there is a separation for any reason.)
I'm furious right now.
Edit: Re-reading this, I'll try to clarify what happened.
1. [2004-2014] When I front-loaded my 401k, the match amount would continue to happen throughout the year, even after my own contributions hit the IRS limit. No need for end of year true-up. Everything is great.
2. Company was acquired by another company. For benefit year 2015, they eliminated the true-up provision in the 401k. They did NOT communicate this to employees.
3. Even though they eliminated the true-up in 2015, they continued to put money into the 401k as a "match" (after I had finished the front-loading of my contributions). So I thought everything was fine and working as per previous years. I later found out that this was a "payroll glitch" all along. They told me they will be taking this money back out of my account at some point.
4. At the beginning of 2016, I still did not know that the true-up was eliminated, and I had no idea that the continued matching contributions on my paystrub were all "glitches." So, again I had I front-loaded my contributions. Same problem. They also continued to throw in their matching portion for a while, until just recently.
5. I contacted them the other day, and their response is:
- All the matches after my "frontloading" in 2015 were "errors" and will be taken back.
- All the matches after my "frontloading" in 2016 so far were also "errors" and will be taken back (but may or may not be added at the end of year true-up, if I'm still at the company.)