Ernst & Young Sees Increase in Inquiries about Withdrawal Penalties

March 11, 2009 ( - Ernst & Young announced its Financial Planner Line has seen a dramatic increase in the number of calls from employees inquiring about the penalties and tax implications associated with early withdrawals from their 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.

According to the announcement, growing anxiety among employees around 401(k) plans and debt management has prompted some employers to offer financial guidance.

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