E&Y: More Employees Ask about Early Withdrawal

Ernst & Young said its Financial Planner Line saw a dramatic increase in employee inquiries about penalties and tax implications associated with early withdrawals from 401(k) plans.

The announcement said that of all the inquiries to the call center discussing retirement planning issues, the number of questions about 401(k) withdrawal penalties jumped from 1% in the third quarter of 2008 to 22.5% the following quarter.

Lynn Finkelstein, Ernst & Young’s national director of Employee Financial Services, noted that the Financial Planner Line has also seen an increase in the number of debt-related calls (2.5% in the third quarter to 5.8% in the fourth quarter of all calls), as people are concerned about paying their bills with diminished resources.

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