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It serves no public purpose for employees to tap into their 401(k)funds. On the other hand if "regulators" --- and I assume you mean government --- try to change them to one-way, a lot of people would scream about how the government has no right to keep them from accessing their own funds. After all they are adults and capable of making their own decisions.

Therein lies the rub. I don't have the answer.

Same situation with healthcare. If people don't have it they go to the emergency room which ends up costing the public.

All this is above my pay grade!!

Thought provoking Steve!

I agree with Jacque - especially when it comes to the lower income participants in 401k plans.

I worked with an employer who had a very generous match policy which got the employees to contribute to the plan, however they treated the whole pot (match included) as their personal piggy bank - and I had a set of employees who would take out a loan every time the balance was high enough to qualify for one. I'm confident that they would have completely withdrawn the money if it had been an option.

Unfortunately, I don't have a solution either - but I don't think that making 401k's a one-way deposit will solve the problem. I think that people wouldn't participate at all if they didn't feel like they could get the money out in an emergency.

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