Congress authorized the creation of 401(k) plans in 1981, and today they’re governed by the U.S. Department of Labor.
Although the government sets general regulations for 401(k) plans, plan administrators and employers may follow these regulations in a variety of ways.
For example, regulations allow 401(k) plans to permit hardship withdrawals, but 401(k) plans don’t have to do so. Employers can also match your plan contributions in varying amounts, or not at all.
As a result, when you enroll in a 401(k) plan, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with your plan’s policies. Your plan administrator or employer will probably offer a welcome packet explaining everything you need to know.
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