Author Topic: Hilarious voicemail from HR today  (Read 19475 times)

zinnie

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Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« on: December 14, 2012, 11:15:30 AM »
"Hi this is Ashley from the benefits department--I was just putting in the 401K contribution changes and I see that you put 20%. Did you mean to do that? It seems like a lot, so I just wanted to check."

I guess Ashley from the benefits department is not going to be financially independent anytime soon...nor apparently is anyone else in my company if this is such a rare occurrence to someone who ENTERS IN 401K CONTRIBUTION CHANGES ON A DAILY BASIS. She assumed that 20% was a typo. And I work at a company that employs over 4,000 people. I'm shocked!

This is my first thread but there was no one else to share this with but this group. Thanks for listening...anyone else have a similar experience? :)

James

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2012, 11:25:17 AM »
I agree, it is both sad and funny that she would find that so unusual.  Unfortunately it isn't surprising that she would find that unusual...

Angelfishtitan

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2012, 12:16:15 PM »
I agree that it is sad that it is not common for people to be putting that much away for retirement, but if I was in her shoes I would have done the same thing. Rather feel I waste a little time checking if someone meant to put 2 vs. 20% than be the one next pay period getting yelled at by a pissed off employee who can't pay their bills now that their check is too small.

The_Dude

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2012, 12:33:11 PM »
Wow. I hope Ashley is just new or something...

dragoncar

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2012, 12:42:47 PM »
Ashley's head would explode at my 100%

jrhampt

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2012, 01:21:23 PM »
haha, this is great!

Splashncash

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2012, 01:23:17 PM »
Yup, happened to me too when I put in 60% of my bonus.  I just put it down to someone who doesn't try to max but hoping they are at least trying to get the company match.

Nords

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2012, 02:19:37 PM »
"Hi this is Ashley from the benefits department--I was just putting in the 401K contribution changes and I see that you put 20%. Did you mean to do that? It seems like a lot, so I just wanted to check."
This is my first thread but there was no one else to share this with but this group. Thanks for listening...anyone else have a similar experience? :)
Let me interrupt the Ashley-bashing for a second to ask investment-related questions on matches & fees:
1.  Do you get a match for putting 20% in your 401(k)?  If not, how much is matched?
2.  Most 401(k) fees are higher than the fees on comparable mutual funds from Fidelity & Vanguard.  What are your 401(k) fees, and would you be better off putting the money in IRAs or even a taxable account?

JohnGalt

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2012, 02:40:59 PM »
"Hi this is Ashley from the benefits department--I was just putting in the 401K contribution changes and I see that you put 20%. Did you mean to do that? It seems like a lot, so I just wanted to check."
This is my first thread but there was no one else to share this with but this group. Thanks for listening...anyone else have a similar experience? :)
Let me interrupt the Ashley-bashing for a second to ask investment-related questions on matches & fees:
1.  Do you get a match for putting 20% in your 401(k)?  If not, how much is matched?
2.  Most 401(k) fees are higher than the fees on comparable mutual funds from Fidelity & Vanguard.  What are your 401(k) fees, and would you be better off putting the money in IRAs or even a taxable account?

My guess is that the OP has already maxed out their IRA (or roth IRA) contributions - but the tax deferred 401k w/ high fees vs non-tax deferred w/ low fees is an option I've personally debated.

In the end - I decided to go with the maxing out my 401k tax deferral before going to taxable options based on the following logic:
I'm currently in the 28% tax bracket but plan on withdrawing (via a roth conversion pipeline) at a much lower effective tax rate on that money - probably around 10%.  That's an 18% gain right there.  I'll only be paying the higher fees while the money is in the 401k - which will be less than 5 years (maybe even less than 3).  The 18% up front gain I get by lowering my tax bracket is effectively an additional 3.3%/yr over 5 years.  I estimate that between the higher fees and lower returns I get from the inferior 401k options maybe comes out to 1.5%/yr at most, so I come out ahead 1.8%/yr on the 401k money.  It's actually higher than that when you consider that only this years money will be in there for 5 full years of fees.  Add to that the additional benefit of having that money grow without paying taxes on the turnover while in the 401k/IRA, and without paying any taxes on the earnings while in the roth IRA and it's a no brainer to me.  The only downside is lost flexibility, which is hard to quantify, but I don't think it out weighs the benefits for me. 

zinnie

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2012, 03:39:27 PM »
"Hi this is Ashley from the benefits department--I was just putting in the 401K contribution changes and I see that you put 20%. Did you mean to do that? It seems like a lot, so I just wanted to check."
This is my first thread but there was no one else to share this with but this group. Thanks for listening...anyone else have a similar experience? :)
Let me interrupt the Ashley-bashing for a second to ask investment-related questions on matches & fees:
1.  Do you get a match for putting 20% in your 401(k)?  If not, how much is matched?
2.  Most 401(k) fees are higher than the fees on comparable mutual funds from Fidelity & Vanguard.  What are your 401(k) fees, and would you be better off putting the money in IRAs or even a taxable account?

My guess is that the OP has already maxed out their IRA (or roth IRA) contributions - but the tax deferred 401k w/ high fees vs non-tax deferred w/ low fees is an option I've personally debated.

In the end - I decided to go with the maxing out my 401k tax deferral before going to taxable options based on the following logic:
I'm currently in the 28% tax bracket but plan on withdrawing (via a roth conversion pipeline) at a much lower effective tax rate on that money - probably around 10%.  That's an 18% gain right there.  I'll only be paying the higher fees while the money is in the 401k - which will be less than 5 years (maybe even less than 3).  The 18% up front gain I get by lowering my tax bracket is effectively an additional 3.3%/yr over 5 years.  I estimate that between the higher fees and lower returns I get from the inferior 401k options maybe comes out to 1.5%/yr at most, so I come out ahead 1.8%/yr on the 401k money.  It's actually higher than that when you consider that only this years money will be in there for 5 full years of fees.  Add to that the additional benefit of having that money grow without paying taxes on the turnover while in the 401k/IRA, and without paying any taxes on the earnings while in the roth IRA and it's a no brainer to me.  The only downside is lost flexibility, which is hard to quantify, but I don't think it out weighs the benefits for me.

Nords: 1) they match basically nothing--half of up to 5% so 2.5% and 2) they have introduced good funds recently, including a domestic stock Vanguard and a bond Vanguard fund that are the majority of my holdings, so I'm not as hesitant to go with them as I used to be (though even before my max expense ratio was 0.50%, which I'm not calling terribly bad for a company 401K).

On everything else, JohnGait, though I haven't done the math as precisely as you have, that's pretty much my thinking--Roth is maxed out and I need somewhere to put all the extra besides just my taxable account which is way too big (percentage-wise, when compared to my whole portfolio). That and I don't have enough working years left to get all of the money into tax-deferred accounts that I would like to get into them (I was hesitant to use 401Ks and IRAs until only a couple of years ago), plus my husband does not have a 401K at his job so in many ways I'm saving for two.

The Dude: 100%? How is this possible?

Anner: I never thought of increasing the percentage for bonuses--I need to figure out how to do that as I normally just put them into a taxable account.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2012, 04:02:17 PM by zinnie »

dragoncar

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2012, 05:51:41 PM »
100%? How is this possible?


It's 100% of my paycheck.  So (almost) 100% of my first few paychecks goes to my 401k until it's maxed out.  I have enough cash to cover my relatively low expenses.

Edit:  I'm all for Ashley sanity checking entries outside the norm.  It's funny to us, but someone living almost paycheck to paycheck might be very upset if their first paycheck of the year was missing 20% instead of the 2.8% they thought they requested.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2012, 05:55:50 PM by dragoncar »

NWstubble

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2012, 07:27:25 PM »
I agree that it is sad that it is not common for people to be putting that much away for retirement, but if I was in her shoes I would have done the same thing. Rather feel I waste a little time checking if someone meant to put 2 vs. 20% than be the one next pay period getting yelled at by a pissed off employee who can't pay their bills now that their check is too small.

My wife works in HR and I would bet this is exactly why she called. Since the vast majority of people either do not contribute or only contribute single digits, anything out of the ordinary is a red flag and is easier handled with a short email or phone call to confirm, rather than deal with seriously angry employee who overdrafted their account because "Ashley entered the wrong amount".

Will

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2012, 08:49:08 PM »
I'm going to bump mine up to 25% in a couple of months; we'll see if I get a similar call.

Zaga

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2012, 08:32:59 AM »
Interesting, I did not get a call or e-mail when I bumped mine from 7% up to 15% last year.  Sadly our maximum is 20%, so I have no hope at my salary of ever reaching the federal limit, I'd have to be able to contribute 43% to do that!  My husband is close to the federal limit though, so that's something.

Baboo

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2012, 01:43:15 PM »
Yeah, ease up on Ashley.  I, too, work in HR within a company full of folks who are about as anti-mustachian as they come.  So, it'd definitely raise an eyebrow for me to come across someone who thought along these lines.  It would be very refreshing!

sheepstache

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2012, 02:25:49 PM »
This is hilarious!  Isn't 20% like the standard that people who want to retire at the regular age are supposed to put towards retirement?

I'm going to max out next year which on my salary is like 58% so I dropped the form off in person and casually brought it to the payroll department's attention so she wouldn't have doubts similar to Ashley's.

Dicey

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2012, 09:48:15 AM »
Awesome strategy, Dragoncar!,

"It's 100% of my paycheck.  So (almost) 100% of my first few paychecks goes to my 401k until it's maxed out.  I have enough cash to cover my relatively low expenses."

Fucking brilliant!

I began each year with specific dollar amounts for federal and state taxes withheld from each paycheck until I reached the amount owed the previous year, then I shut off the tap completely. The first few years, it always generated phone calls and you-can't-do-thats. Eventually they got used to my "shenanigans". Now I'm retired (early, but at 54, alas, not extreme). Wonder if they'll miss me. I doubt that anyone learned from my example, but I don't care, I'm outta there...

Had I frontloaded as you suggest, I'm sure I would have been out of there a lot sooner. I hope a lot of people read your comment and decide to follow in your brilliant footsteps, DC.

tfordon

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2012, 10:30:20 AM »
I'm maxing out but not front-loading yet.

My company does a 1-1 match on the first 4% I contribute each paycheck.  If I reach the federal limit too early, I don't get any more matching dollars.  I guess my front-loading strategy should be to calculate how much I can pay right away while still paying 4% the rest of the year.  I could have issues if I work more overtime than expected, get a bonus, or get a raise though.  Perhaps I should calculate with a bit of a buffer, then finish maxing the 401(k) in December.

I don't think it gets much more first world problems than worrying about bonuses and raises.

Saving mom

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2012, 07:31:09 PM »
DH got a job late in the year and I was earning a high wage- he asked HR to put 50% in 401k to ensure he maxed out to IRS limit. HR definitely made a comment. I worked with a lot of people making six figures and one lamented that it was too hard to save in the 401k with the high cost of living. I had to fight back the urge to say he should be fired for being bad at math (we worked in complex financial analysis). Guess who was just able to swing a 9-month unpaid sabbatical? Not him!

StetsTerhune

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #19 on: December 17, 2012, 07:53:44 PM »
My wife got the same call from HR a few months ago. I thought it was reasonable, since she was putting 90% into the 401K (to max out before the end of this year at her new job). 20% doesn't seem reasonable to call about, unless you've got an incredibly bored HR.

My dad always maxes out his 401K as quickly as possible every year, figures it doesn't cost him anything, and if he quits his job then he'd be glad he put in as much as possible.

I'm close to being able to do the same, but my company does their match by paycheck, so I have to make sure I can put at least 6% of every paycheck of the year in the 401K to get all of my match.

zinnie

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #20 on: December 18, 2012, 11:13:16 AM »
I'm going to bump mine up to 25% in a couple of months; we'll see if I get a similar call.

Good for you! And for the others with such high amounts.

I never thought of doing 100% in the first few months--but what's the advantage of this over keeping the same percentage all year round? Is this just the concept that it's better to have money invested now than later b/c it has more time to grow or am I missing something?

DoubleDown

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #21 on: December 18, 2012, 11:53:28 AM »
One thing people need to be very careful about is losing out on matching contributions if you hit the federal limit too early. For example, if the annual limit is $17,500, and you reach that amount in your first few paychecks, then no more contributions will be taken from your paycheck for the rest of the year, and employer matching will stop as well. Since employers typically would only be matching somewhere in the 4-10% range of each contribution from your paycheck, and not anywhere near 20 - 100%, you could end up losing out on a lot of matching funds that way. It is far better to spread your payments over the year so you maximize your employer's matching funds (assuming they are provided) when reaching the federal contribution limit.

dragoncar

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #22 on: December 18, 2012, 01:21:41 PM »
If you are lucky enough to get a match, but not one of those new-fangled end-of-year matches, then sure, spread it out. 

skyrefuge

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #23 on: December 18, 2012, 01:37:59 PM »
One thing people need to be very careful about is losing out on matching contributions if you hit the federal limit too early.

Definitely true. But some 401(k) plans provide "true-up" contributions to correct such an unintentional loss of matching contributions. Don't know how common it is, but I know at least one of the companies I've worked for did it, and eBay does it (PDF link, but it's a good general FAQ about true-up contributions). If you know your plan does true-ups, then go ahead and crank your contributions to some ridiculous level and don't worry about losing out on matching, but if not, DD provides some good advice.

Will

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #24 on: December 18, 2012, 09:50:05 PM »
I'm going to bump mine up to 25% in a couple of months; we'll see if I get a similar call.

Good for you! And for the others with such high amounts.

Thanks.  I'd consider going higher but for some reason my company limits it to 25% (and they stop matching WELL below that).

zinnie

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #25 on: December 19, 2012, 04:14:05 PM »
One thing people need to be very careful about is losing out on matching contributions if you hit the federal limit too early. For example, if the annual limit is $17,500, and you reach that amount in your first few paychecks, then no more contributions will be taken from your paycheck for the rest of the year, and employer matching will stop as well. Since employers typically would only be matching somewhere in the 4-10% range of each contribution from your paycheck, and not anywhere near 20 - 100%, you could end up losing out on a lot of matching funds that way. It is far better to spread your payments over the year so you maximize your employer's matching funds (assuming they are provided) when reaching the federal contribution limit.

And this is the obvious reason that I should stick to my current plan. Thanks!

Emerald

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #26 on: December 19, 2012, 07:12:58 PM »
This week I bumped my contributions to 18%.  I'm eagerly awaiting alHR's call.

BlueMR2

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #27 on: January 02, 2013, 11:14:03 AM »
I just bumped mine up to the next percentage above calculated max (after confirming that our new system could handle that and would stop at the max properly).  Was only going for the match previously as doing my own investing seemed to be to my advantage.  However, I currently believe that maxing out the 401k is the way to go for now.  Not a front-loader, that makes HR nervous like you're going to quit soon, and nervous HR people are not good for any of us...  :-)
« Last Edit: January 03, 2013, 06:25:02 AM by BlueMR2 »

dragoncar

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #28 on: January 02, 2013, 02:51:38 PM »
Not a front-loader, that makes HR nervous like you're going to quit soon, and nervous HR people are not good for any of us...  :-)

I guess that could go either way.  If you are valued, then perhaps they will try to keep you around with raises/promotions.  If not, perhaps you will be on the chopping block.

strider3700

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #29 on: January 02, 2013, 04:08:44 PM »
in which case be glad that you maxed it out early and got the full payout on it.

c

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #30 on: January 02, 2013, 06:05:14 PM »
It never occurred to me to front load it.  We can pay up to 35% of our bonus into ours, so I usually budget on the lowest I think it will be and put that in at year end as the bonus is taxed at a higher rate.

I wonder if it would be better to front load up until the 35%. It won't affect my match.

TLV

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #31 on: January 03, 2013, 11:57:26 AM »
the bonus is taxed at a higher rate.

Are you sure about that? Sure, the bonus may have a higher withholding rate (my employer withholds exactly 25% of bonuses, while the rest of my paycheck is usually about 20%), but I don't think it affects the total tax you owe for the year.

Zaga

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #32 on: January 03, 2013, 05:58:04 PM »
the bonus is taxed at a higher rate.

Are you sure about that? Sure, the bonus may have a higher withholding rate (my employer withholds exactly 25% of bonuses, while the rest of my paycheck is usually about 20%), but I don't think it affects the total tax you owe for the year.
You are right, your bonus is regular income and at the end of the year is included with the rest of your income.  Federal law however requires that they withhold 25% for federal taxes on Bonuses.

c

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #33 on: January 03, 2013, 07:05:11 PM »
I will double check with HR tomorrow. Maybe "taxed at a higher rate" was the wrong way to phrase it. It's always been my understanding that more taxes come out or a pay a higher portion of some taxes on my bonus that my salary. That said, I've only recently been paying attention to it. I'll call tomorrow and find out.

Lagom

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #34 on: January 04, 2013, 08:00:15 AM »
My wife operates on a large performance-based annual bonus system and her company witholds taxes on all bonuses as if that income will be taxed in the highest bracket, regardless of an employee's actual annual salary. The bonus money is not actually taxed at a higher rate, it just has a larger % withheld for taxes. It's rather irritating, but they won't budge on that practice and it does allow us to withold less than usual out of our regular paychecks. We always get that money back, of course. The government just gets to use it interest-free for a year.

smalllife

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #35 on: January 04, 2013, 11:49:29 AM »
You are right, your bonus is regular income and at the end of the year is included with the rest of your income.  Federal law however requires that they withhold 25% for federal taxes on Bonuses.

Suggested, not required.

etselec

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #36 on: January 04, 2013, 02:51:33 PM »
Unfortunately I don't have such problems - maxing out my Roth IRA & 3.75% into the 403(b) is about all I can manage right now. But I can say for a fact that I would never get an HR call like the OP did, because I am the person in charge of entering 403(b) contributions at work.   :)

Zaga

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #37 on: January 04, 2013, 05:02:38 PM »
You are right, your bonus is regular income and at the end of the year is included with the rest of your income.  Federal law however requires that they withhold 25% for federal taxes on Bonuses.

Suggested, not required.
Good to know, I thought it was required.  Looks like employers are able to include a bonus in with a regular paycheck then withhold federal taxes according to the standard tables and your W-4. 

http://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tools/tax-tips/General-Tax-Tips/What-is-the-Federal-Supplemental-Tax-Rate-/INF19305.html

Glad you made me look that up, I'm studying to be an accountant :-)

projekt

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #38 on: January 06, 2013, 04:47:30 PM »
When I started at my first post-college job, a long time ago, the HR guy said, "You can borrow from your 401k! Like if you needed money for a vacation or something! Isn't that great?" The entire roomful of software engineers was looking at him like he had two heads. He realized it and said, "Hmm. Maybe that's not such a good idea."

hoppy08520

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #39 on: January 19, 2013, 08:03:09 PM »
Rather than contribute by percentage, I go by fixed amount. We have 24 pay periods and I do $17,500/24 each pay period so I max out. I'll have to look into front-loading. I do get an employer match so I'd need to make sure I don't miss out on any by "over" front-loading.

dragoncar

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #40 on: January 20, 2013, 05:39:49 PM »
Funny, HR bumped my contributions back to around 10% this year... I emailed them to fix it but they didn't explain.  I haven't filled out a new contribution for since I started here.

Pollyanna

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #41 on: January 22, 2013, 06:27:05 AM »
My husband works for a small company that does their accounting in-house.  In 2011 he max'd his 401K and catch-up limit (we're over 50) and they had no mechanism in place to notice and cease the contributions.  What a mess!  Clearly they were never set up to expect an employee to do this, although thankfully, it happened to one other person, so we weren't alone in saving to the max in this regard.  And this is the same company that to-date (1/22) has not paid him his December commission because they can't afford it!

Will

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #42 on: February 20, 2013, 09:12:38 PM »
I did bump up to 24% (our company set the max at 24; I thought it was 25, oh well).  I talked to the payroll person (since they are the ones who deal with it, not HR), and she was really happy and said it was a really good idea.  Yay!

tracipam

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #43 on: February 24, 2013, 05:20:11 PM »
I set mine up for 22% when I started and never got a call...that would have been fun, though.  :-) I was a little miffed that they made me wait 3 months before I could start shunting money into my 401K, though.  That's asking you to get acclimatized to a higher salary!  Oh well...

MountainMan

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #44 on: February 25, 2013, 11:16:43 PM »
Thanks.  I'd consider going higher but for some reason my company limits it to 25% (and they stop matching WELL below that).

One place I worked for had a limitation in place to ensure people don't inadvertently put their whole paycheck in and have nothing left over.  There was a notation in the system to talk to the plan administrator if you wanted to put more in.

dragoncar

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #45 on: February 26, 2013, 12:29:30 AM »
At some point, higher contribution rates seem to create more work for HR.  I don't know why -- maybe the software is not up to snuff.  Whenever I've asked to contribute 100% (at multiple companies) they never contribute exactly 100%  It ends up being something like (made up numbers):

90% 401k
2% health insurance
2% federal tax
2% state tax
2% fica
2% residual deposit to checking

The 401k contribution is usually some round number that was obviously manually typed in.

Then, for the paycheck where I hit the max annual contribution, they probably have to manually enter that number too.

Much easier for everyone if you never reach the max, and they can calculate the same paycheck for the entire year.

mlipps

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #46 on: March 12, 2013, 05:43:09 PM »
Fiance and I are trying to figure out how much to put in our 401k this year w/the goal of our AGI being exactly $95k (Traditional IRA deductibility cut off) and all the other money going to our house downpayment fund & said IRA...He's working a 2nd part time job, so we won't know until later in the year exactly how much we need to put in. I called my HR dept. today to ask what the max I could contribute as a percentage of my paycheck is. "I've actually never gotten that question before", said the rep. in a VERY puzzled voice.

Finally, after 10 minutes on hold, she came back and confirmed there's no limit. Humorous. We'll see how the convo goes if I have to call in September and change it to something crazy like 70%.

Nords

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Re: Hilarious voicemail from HR today
« Reply #47 on: March 12, 2013, 07:12:32 PM »
Fiance and I are trying to figure out how much to put in our 401k this year w/the goal of our AGI being exactly $95k (Traditional IRA deductibility cut off) and all the other money going to our house downpayment fund & said IRA...He's working a 2nd part time job, so we won't know until later in the year exactly how much we need to put in. I called my HR dept. today to ask what the max I could contribute as a percentage of my paycheck is. "I've actually never gotten that question before", said the rep. in a VERY puzzled voice.
Finally, after 10 minutes on hold, she came back and confirmed there's no limit. Humorous. We'll see how the convo goes if I have to call in September and change it to something crazy like 70%.
The U.S. military pay system limits contributions to the Thrift Savings Plan to 92% so that there's another 7.45% available to send to send to FICA and Medicare.

When my spouse was a drilling Reservist, after those deductions her weekend drill pay would amount to about $1.50 deposited in her checking account.