Maxed out 401k contributions before employer match maxed

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  • Avatar Krentist 
    Status: Dentist
    Posts: 102
    Joined: 08/21/2018

    My significant other (SO), a W2 employee, has a 4% employer match for the 401k contributions. The employer will only contribute 11k/year. SO has contributed the 19k permissible for 2019 but the employer match has only totaled 9.5k (due to SO contributing more/faster than the match was). So SO is now in a position with 1.5k match still on the table that is inaccessible since SO won’t be contributing any more employee funds to the 401k.

    Do we chalk this up to a stupid tax of contributing too much/too fast for the employer match to be utilized or is there a way to access this 1.5k of employer match funds despite not having employee contributions remaining?

    Thank you!

    #241284 Reply
    Zaphod Zaphod 
    Status: Physician, Small Business Owner
    Posts: 6177
    Joined: 01/12/2016

    Sometimes they have an end of year true up for these kinds of situations. For next year just ask how they do it and if there’s a true up. That way you can adjust your contributions to maximize it.

    #241286 Reply
    Avatar Peds 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 4405
    Joined: 01/08/2016

    Read the plan documents. What are the matching conditions?
    If it requires every paycheck then yes stupid tax.
    if there’s a true up at the end of the year then max it out as fast as possible every year

    #241287 Reply
    Avatar ZZZ 
    Status: Spouse
    Posts: 697
    Joined: 06/18/2018

    Gotta know the rules of the game. Read the plan docs and figure out how the match is applied. If it’s indeed per paycheck with no true up at the end of the year as you suggest, lesson learned.

    “Do we chalk this up to a stupid tax?” Yes.


    #241297 Reply
    Molar Mechanic Molar Mechanic 
    Status: Dentist, Small Business Owner
    Posts: 394
    Joined: 10/29/2017

    Talk to HR.  Might get trued up.  Might need to adjust contributions next year.


    Bright side? $1.5k won’t make or break you.

    #241421 Reply

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