Persuading HR to expedite benefits set up?

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Topic Author
ipo_fin_z
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:28 am

Persuading HR to expedite benefits set up?

Post by ipo_fin_z » Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:51 am

I'm starting a new job this upcoming week after taking months "off" and I have significant space left to contribute to my 2018 401(k) and Dependent Care FSA. Ideally, 100% of salary I'll be receiving this month would be flowing into those accounts.

Unfortunately, HR seems swamped (takes days to respond to my emails), and it looks like it will take a few paycheck cycles to get the deductions set up. (As far as I can tell this is just an HR process issue, not a benefits requirement - the benefits guide I received prior to signing said nothing about this onboarding time). Gentle requests to expedite have been denied (without much context on why things can't be moved quicker)

As I'm in a high marginal tax rate, being able to contribute this year (as early as possible) is very valuable, so I'm willing to spend a lot of effort pushing this through.

Has anyone had to deal with a similar issue before? Any words of wisdom on encouraging HR to set things up faster?

runner3081
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Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:22 pm

Re: Persuading HR to expedite benefits set up?

Post by runner3081 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:30 am

How big the company is, will make a difference. When I started at a large company a few years back, it was never documents, but it took 3-4 pay cycles for the 401K contributions to start. In that case, there wasn't a thing I could do.

Your only chance is in a small company. In a large company, they usually have their procedures.

Also, if it is a standard wait, how is it fair that they do it for you and not the next person hired?

clemrick
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Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 8:46 pm

Re: Persuading HR to expedite benefits set up?

Post by clemrick » Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:09 am

I would suggest that you stop your "gentle requests" now. I can almost guarantee that your nagging them is annoying them. You might be in danger of them putting your paperwork on the slow pile if you keep bothering them. Your finances are not their concern.

sasquatch12
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Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:52 pm

Re: Persuading HR to expedite benefits set up?

Post by sasquatch12 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:00 pm

As someone who worked in HR Benefits for quite a while, I can tell you that for the most part there is no way to speed things up. If it is like the companies I worked at in the past everything is controlled by electronic feeds that go from the employer to the benefits providers.

These feeds usually go over for 401K once per pay cycle so depending on your start date and the payroll calendar your information might not go over for an additional 2 weeks. For example if you start say on a Monday and payroll is that Friday then most likely you would not be run through payroll until the next payroll cycle which will delay things. Next, once the 401K provider has your info they will then mail out your 401K packet so that you can sign up, which will take a week or two to receive.

One thing you can do is after you receive your first paycheck, try calling the 401K provider the following Monday to see if they have received your information and you are in their system. Then you can usually just register and select your 401K deduction amount from your paycheck, then the following payroll cycle your deductions usually begin. All in all it usually takes about a month before they start and there is no way to speed things up as there is no way to circumvent the data feeds.

Topic Author
ipo_fin_z
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:28 am

Re: Persuading HR to expedite benefits set up?

Post by ipo_fin_z » Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:33 pm

Thanks for all the advice and explanations on what causes the slowdown - and the tip to speed things up a bit. It's a large company and based on what I see here, sounds like there is not much I can (or should) do. The slowness was a surprise: my spouse and I have always had 401(k) and benefits activated on first day (admittedly, we've been working at newer, mid-sized companies).

It's a bit unfortunate many large companies haven't been able to speed this process up; it's not great for employees from a tax perspective and results in work for HR fielding questions (e.g. I need to understand exactly when the FSA starts to know how much to even contribute!)

nalor511
Posts: 492
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Re: Persuading HR to expedite benefits set up?

Post by nalor511 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 6:13 pm

ipo_fin_z wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:33 pm
Thanks for all the advice and explanations on what causes the slowdown - and the tip to speed things up a bit. It's a large company and based on what I see here, sounds like there is not much I can (or should) do. The slowness was a surprise: my spouse and I have always had 401(k) and benefits activated on first day (admittedly, we've been working at newer, mid-sized companies).

It's a bit unfortunate many large companies haven't been able to speed this process up; it's not great for employees from a tax perspective and results in work for HR fielding questions (e.g. I need to understand exactly when the FSA starts to know how much to even contribute!)
It's only an issue for employees starting in December who are eager to catch up on 401k contributions they didn't do earlier for whatever reason... Seems like a problem that probably doesn't come up for them very often. Unfortunate, true, but also seems unlikely to change, based on a low occurrence of squeaky wheels.

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