Reference Information to Available Financial Resources and Assistance
March 25, 2020
Financial Resource Guide: The guide outlines financial and retirement-based resources available to our employees. The resources range from educational pieces about budgeting and debt management to retirement processes and where to find additional information. For employees that are considering retirement the link to the Retirement Checklist is included so employees are aware of the potential steps to take when going through the retirement process. Links and contact information for Medicare, Social Security, the SHIP program are also included.
United 401(k) Plans - Fidelity
Live Web Workshop: Fidelity is developing a live web workshop for our employees to help with immediate budget concerns and how best to use their 401(k)-retirement savings plan. Verify workshop schedules on the Fidelity website.
United has worked with Fidelity to develop a live web workshop to provide employees with some suggestions to help during these uncertain times. This workshop is different from the other Fidelity live web workshops currently being promoted, as it will be custom and only be available for United employees.
The workshop is titled Being Prepared for the Unexpected and will be held on Monday March 30th at 2:00 pm EST. Some of the points of discussion are foundational tips for managing investments through market volatility, adjusting a budget, options to access retirement savings and resources to help create a plan.
This is a live virtual workshop where the participants will be able to ask the presenter questions regarding the topics covered. To participate in the workshop employees should register at: netbenefits.fidelity.com/livewebmeetings
United 401(k) Plans - Fidelity
CARP: The retirement team is fielding calls and questions pertaining to benefit estimates and the potential of lumpsum payments.
Continental Airlines Retirement Plan
Working Credit Hotline:United is partnering with Working Credit to develop a complimentary help line for employees to speak with a counselor about financial concerns and how to best navigate their next steps. The counselors can provide strategies to address financial challenges such as paying bills, avoiding debt settlement and optimizing their credit during this time.
Alliant Credit Union:is currently working on an initiative to permit employees impacted by COVID-19 to temporarily defer loan payments. Additionally, Alliant will offer unsecured loans at reduced rates to existing members impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic (up to $5,000). Nonmembers currently affected and currently employed by your company are eligible (subject to verification). Other nonmembers are not eligible. More information will be forthcoming.
Alliant Credit Union
Penalty-free hardships:United is working closely with Fidelity and the legal department to stay on top of any legislation that may impact 401(k) administration that could benefit plan participants. Fidelity confirmed that their operations team is preparing to be able to process COVID-19 hardships.
Here are the circumstances under which employees may withdraw money from their 401(k) while on an active or leave status. While AFA doesn’t like to promote 401(k) withdrawals for employees on an active or LOA status as it could ultimately impact an employee’s ability to retire, it’s important for employees to understand what access they have to their funds during this time of uncertainty.
In-service withdrawals: Available to employees on an active or leave of absence status. Employees age 59 ½ are eligible to start withdrawing from their 401(k), penalty free. If applicable, employees under age 59 ½ can withdraw from their post-tax source without penalty. Rollover sources are also available for withdrawal but may be subject to penalty if taken prior to age 59 ½. These withdrawals are subject to taxation.
401(k) Loans: Available to employees on an active status. Employees can request up to 2 loans from their 401(k) between $1,000-$50,000, not to exceed half their 401(k) balance. While on active status, employees will need to repay their loan according to the repayment schedule. If, after requesting a loan, they are placed on a leave of absence status, their loan repayments will be suspended for the period of their leave, not to exceed 12 months. If the loan is paid back timely, there is no taxation on these withdrawals.
401(k) Hardships: A hardship from the 401(k) plan is available for active employees if they already have two loans outstanding and have an immediate and heavy financial need for an eligible reason specified in the Summary Plan Description. Hardship withdrawals are also available to employees on a leave status, at which time new loans cannot be taken from the 401(k) plan. In addition to being subject to taxation, these withdrawals are also subject to a 10% penalty.
Summary Plan Descriptions
Note, once an employee is retired or has separated from the company, they would be eligible for a full or partial withdrawal of their 401(k) balance. To review the available amounts for distribution, employees can call Fidelity at (800) 245-9034, or navigate to the Withdrawals/Loans section after logging into your Fidelity account through netbenefits.com.